It was a day of reversals on Wall Street. After trading down by as much as 100 points in early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained a modest 0.25% to close at 14,090. The S&P 500 rose 0.22% to 1,518 and the Nasdaq gained 0.31% to close at 3,170.
Groupon (GRPN) shares rallied 12.6% on the announcement late yesterday that Founder and CEO Andrew Mason was removed from his post following a dismal earnings report for the deal site. In his farewell letter to staff posted online Mason wrote, "After four and a half intense and wonderful years as CEO of Groupon, I've decided that I'd like to spend more time with my family. Just kidding—I was fired today." Groupon stock was down nearly 25% yesterday.
Shares of Best Buy (BBY) opened with steep losses, but closed 4.5% higher on the heels of its latest earnings report. The company says it lost $409 million, or $1.21 per share, in the last quarter. Earnings from continuing operations were $1.64 per share, down from $2.18 a year earlier but better than the $1.54 that was expected. Release of the report was delayed a day because company founder Richard Schulze was trying one last time to cobble together a deal to take the company private, but that fell through.
Facebook (FB) posted late-day gains, closing up 2% after announcing its new weapon in an advertising war with Google (GOOG). Facebook is acquiring "Atlas Advertiser Suite" from Microsoft (MSFT). Atlas helps companies decide where to place display ads online and monitors their effectiveness. Facebook currently controls 15% of the display ad market, while Google lays claim to 18%.
Herbalife (HLF) posted modest gains after getting another boost from Carl Icahn. The activist investor struck a deal allowing him to pick two Herbalife board members. He also gets the right to increase his stake in the company to 25% from 14%. Icahn has been engaged in a public battle with another investing titan Bill Ackman who claims Herbalife's business model is a pyramid scheme. Trading of the stock was briefly halted yesterday ahead of the news from Icahn.
Salesforce.com (CRM) shares hit a new 52-week high and closed 7.6% higher on its latest earnings results released yesterday after the close. It actually widened its losses, but core earnings were up. The company also raised its forecast for the full year.