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Market Stages Late Day Reversal; Zynga Extends Winning Streak on CEO Switch

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

Stocks staged a late day reversal closing the day down fractionally, giving back strong gains on concerns over turmoil in Egypt and comments from New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley made during a speech in Connecticut. Dudley reiterated that market fears about rate hikes and winding down monthly bond purchases are misplaced. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department says factory orders climbed 2.1% percent in May when consensus had been for 2%. As for auto sales, Ford (F) reported June sales were up 13% from a year ago while General Motors (GM) says its sales climbed 6.5%.

Zynga (ZNGA) is on a winning streak. The maker of Farmville saw its shares rise another 6% today. The move up was precipitated by the announcement that founder Mark Pincus is stepping down as CEO. He's being replaced by Don Mattrick, the current head of Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox division. Pincus will remain Zynga's chairman and chief product officer. Just yesterday it was revealed that Zynga has been surpassed by king.com the maker of "Candy Crush Saga" as the top game company on Facebook (FB).

Newly-public Noodles and Company (NDLS) jumped another 22% in its third day of trading. Jim Cramer is calling the chain a buy, but an article on The Motley Fool calls the stock overcooked. Share prices more than doubled in their market debut last Friday. The company owns and operates about 350 restaurants, including 52 under franchise agreements. It was founded by Kevin Reddy, who once served as Chipotle's (CMG) CEO.

Constellation Brands (STZ) dropped 3% today after reporting quarterly earnings. The company missed estimates, posting 38-cents a share when consensus was for 41-cents. Revenue was also slightly short of expectations at $673 million. The company says profits were down 5% from a year ago due to higher costs including a spike in the price of grapes. But the company is raising its outlook for the year citing its recent acquisition of Grupo Modelo, which includes the portfolio of Corona brands. Prior to today's decline, shares of Constellation Brands are up 41% year-to-date.

The bottom fell out today for Achillion Pharmaceuticals (ACHN). Shares plunged 25% on news the FDA has placed the company's experimental hepatitis-C drug called Sovaprevir on clinical hold. Testing has shown that when the medication is taken along with a popular HIV drug it can cause an unsafe elevation in liver enzymes. Prior to the drop, the stock had been up 26% over the last year, largely on speculation it could be a takeover target.

Plastics supplier A. Schulman (SHLM) fell 4% after reporting quarterly adjusted earnings of 50-cents a share when estimates had been for 65-cents. Revenue was also below the consensus. The numbers were also down significantly from a year ago due to declining sales in Europe.