by Marc Bastow | March 19, 2013 4:52 pm
Stocks continued a pullback that began last Friday despite upbeat news in the housing sector, as investors casting a wary eye on events in Cyprus continued to put pressure on the stock markets. However, despite news late in the day that Cypriot lawmakers rejected a proposed bank deposit tax aimed at averting a banking collapse, the markets rallied to erase some of their losses.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average recovered to finish ahead fractionally at 14,455.82, while the Nasdaq lost 0.26% to end at 3,229.10 and the S&P 500 closed down 0.24% at 1,548.34.
Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) shares soared over 5% after it and European health retailer Alliance Boots, in which Walgreen bought a stake last year, announced a 10-year partnership and minority investment with drug supplier AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC). Shares of ABC rose more than 3% on the news, while rival Cardinal Health (NYSE:CAH) — whose contract with Walgreen expires later this year — was the big loser on the news, falling more than 8%.
Meanwhile, U.S. Census Bureau data showing an 0.8% rise in housing starts and 4.6% jump in building permits helped to lift the homebuilding sector; Hovnanian (NYSE:HOV, +3.3%), KB Home (NYSE:KBH, +3%) and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL, +1.1%) were among the industry’s winners.
Shares of game software developer Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) fell nearly 9% after it announced CEO John Raccitiello was resigning, and that its revenue and earnings would be at the low end of or below its January guidance.
Network infrastructure provider Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) fell more than 5% as Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) downgraded the stock to “sell,” citing increased competition from Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) in the data-center and security spaces.
Shoe retailer DSW (NYSE:DSW) saw shares plunge more than 6% after it missed Q4 revenue forecasts and warned analysts about slower forward top- and bottom-line results.
Finally, women’s athletic apparel maker Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) fell just less than 3% after a massive recall of yoga pants that were unintentionally see-through led the company to lower its sales projections.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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