Wednesday’s flat-market breather took a turn for the worse Thursday as investors got a little spooked by some mixed news on the jobs, productivity and earnings fronts, prompting them to sell off across all three indices.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 100 points in the morning before a rally halved the pain, but the end result was a loss of 0.3% to 13,944.05. The S&P 500 fell 0.18% to finish at 1,509.39 and the Nasdaq fell 0.11% to 3.165.13 despite help from a late Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) rally.
Apple gained nearly 3% after the company reversed course on a plan to make issuing preferred shares more difficult, sparked by a lawsuit filed by activist investor David Einhorn. The company said in a press release, “Apple’s management team and Board of Directors have been in active discussions about returning additional cash to shareholders. As part of our review, we will thoroughly evaluate Greenlight Capital’s current proposal to issue some form of preferred stock”
Otherwise, stocks paid the price for weak earnings or guidance Thursday … and in some cases, even for fairly upbeat news.
Strong January same-store-sales figures across the retail board produced mixed results in the sector. Macy’s (NYSE:M) rose 2% after reporting a 11.7% rise in same-store sales. However, Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD, -3.3%), Gap (NYSE:GPS, -3%) and Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS, -1%) all dropped despite positive results in the metric.
Internet delivery and infrastructure services company Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM) announced weak fourth-quarter results and forecast poor revenues, leading to a 15% bath. Voice and data company Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU, -7%) was crushed on quarterly losses and news that CEO Ben Verwaayen is resigning, and media and electronics maker Sony (NYSE:SNE, -4.4%) also lost ground on poor results.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) shares were hammered 5% on the company’s weak outlook for sales growth, though the company did post solid Q4 revenues and earnings. Global media giant News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) also issued bad guidance for 2013 and lost more than 2%.
Notable earnings releases for Friday include Real America Index component Entergy (NYSE:ETR), Masco (NYSE:MAS), and Moody’s (NYSE:MCO).
- O’Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY): Up 8.1% ($7.44) to $100.04.
- Cablevision (NYSE:CVC): Up 5.6% (82 cents) to $15.17.
- Safeway (NYSE:SWY): Up 4.9% (95 cents) to $20.34.
- Bunge (NYSE:BG): Up 9.2% ($7.26) to $72.12.
- Cys Investments (NYSE:CYS): Down 5.3% (69 cents) $12.29.
- Yelp (NYSE:YELP): Down 4.6% ($1.03) to $21.35.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he was long AAPL.