It was a bumpy final trading day to close out a volatile week on Wall Street. The Dow and S&P 500 managed to close out with 0.3% gains for the day. The Nasdaq closed down 0.2%. The real event was a spike in the 10-year Treasury yield, which topped 2.5% for the first time since August 2011. The big treasuries sell-off began with Fed Chair Ben Bernanke's press conference two days ago. The equity and bond markets seem worried by the Fed's plan to start pulling back on its quantitative easing program. There were no major economic reports released today.
Oracle (ORCL) weighed on the tech sector with shares falling 9% after its latest quarterly earning report. Excluding items it matched on earnings estimates at 87-cents a share. That was up from 69-cents a year ago, but revenue fell short at $10.9 billion when consensus was for more than $11.1 billion. The company is blaming weak sales in Asia and Latin America. Also of concern is the shift to cloud computing, and competition from companies like Salesforce.com. Even before today's drop, shares were down 4% this year, largely because of a plunge after the company's last earnings report. By the way Oracle also announced yesterday that it will be moving from the Nasdaq over to the NYSE in July.
Darden Restaurants (DRI) served up a disappointment to investors with its quarterly report. Shares slid 2% on news that earnings per share were $1.01 when expectations were for $1.04. Even worse, they're down from $1.15 a year ago. Revenue actually beat the forecast as the company offered promotions at Olive Garden and Red Lobster. But investors worry that the short-term fix will undermine long-term efforts to increase profits margins.
Shares of CarMax (KMX) stalled, closing the day flat after the company released its earnings. CarMax posted a profit of 62-cents a share beating estimates of 58-cents and improving upon 52-cents a year ago. Revenue also beat the consensus coming in at $3.31 billion when expectations were $3.15 billion. CarMax says sales at stores open at least a year climbed 17%. The company says it has been benefiting from a loosening on consumer credit. On the downside, company expenses have been rising.
One of the most-search tickers all day was Ebix (EBIX) which was down more than 13%. Shares of the insurance software-provider tanked after Goldman Sachs withdrew an offer to buy the company. The move was prompted by a federal investigation into Ebix's accounting and reporting practices. Today's drop puts shares at their lowest level in more than three years.
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