by Marc Bastow | February 28, 2013 5:12 pm
Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) was the big story of Thursday from bell to bell … and then a little bit after that.
During the day, Groupon’s shares plummeted 25% after a woeful Q4 earnings report saw misses on both the top and bottom lines and suggested weakness in the current quarter.
After the bell, however, GRPN was headed strongly in the other direction following the daily-deals site’s announcement that it was ditching CEO Andrew Mason and looking for new leadership. Executive Chairman Eric Lefkofsky and Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis will oversee the company until a replacement is found.
As for the actual trading day …
With two straight days of triple-digit gains behind them, the broader indices tried to reach toward record levels Thursday, powered by strong economic news on the unemployment and business-activity fronts. A Labor Department report showed jobless claims fell sharply last week, while a report from the Institute for Supply Management showed business activity in the Midwest region improving in February, with its index rising to an 11-month high.
However, an afternoon swoon kept the Dow Jones and S&P 500 from notching all-time highs and left investors with small losses across the board. The Dow dropped 0.15% to 14054.49 and the S&P 500 dropped 0.1% to 1514.68. The Nasdaq also dropped 0.1% to 3160.19.
Retailer JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) watched its stock tank early, finally settling on a 17% loss following a disappointing Q4 report that included a $1.95 per share operating loss and its weakest revenues since 1987. Competitor Sears Holdings (NASDAQ:SHLD) didn’t fare quite as badly on the earnings front, narrowing last year’s $3.4 billion annual loss to only $930 million. However, it too lost ground, to the tune of 6%.
Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) announced that its Nook and e-book sales fell 26% compared with the year-earlier quarter. However, some think the results will spur a divorce of the retail and Nook businesses, and BKS shares actually finished up 3%.
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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