Market Minute: H&R Block Acknowledges Delays on Some Tax Returns

This post has been corrected.

Produced by Drew Trachtenberg

The Dow edged higher by two points yesterday, but that was good enough for a sixth straight record high, and an eighth straight gain. That's the longest winning streak in more than two years. But the S&P 500 ended three points lower, and the Nasdaq fell 10.

Pedestrians walk past the H&R Block Inc. flagship office in New York, U.S., on Friday, March 2, 2012. H&R Block Inc. provides tax services to the general public, accounting and consulting services, and consumer financial and personal productivity software. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Scott Eells, Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Last week, H&R Block (HRB) reported disappointing earnings, its net loss widening as tax season begins late this year. Now the leading tax preparation company has "acknowledged that it encountered issues filing returns containing Form 8863 -- which is used to claim education credits -- before Feb. 22 because of changes the IRS made to the way it processes the form," CNNMoney reports.

H&R Block says the glitch has been fixed, and that it's working to get customers their refunds as quickly as possible. In all, the IRS said 600,000 returns, not all of them from H&R Block customers, were affected by the mix-up.

A big step forward for Boeing (BA): Federal regulators have given their okay for the company to test the redesigned batteries on its 787 Dreamliners. The company hopes to begin test flights next month, and could resume commercials flights in May, if all goes well.

Federal regulators say new media companies must play by the same rules as old media when it comes to advertising fine print. That means advertisers on Facebook (FB), Twitter and other sites must identify ads and find a way to include legal disclosures from companies that sell weight loss products, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, etc.

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Credit card company Discover Financial (DFS) is moving into a new business: offering home equity loans. It will provide fixed rate loans of up to $100,000, available at first to current card holders.

Twinkees are not dead after all. Hostess, now in bankruptcy, has agreed to sell the popular cake brand to Apollo Global (APO) and a partner for $410 million. Dole Food (DOLE) is leaving a sour taste in the mouths of investors. The company posted a quarterly loss that was much worse than expected.

And Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI) could lose a third of its value today. The biotech firm warns that sales of its drug to treat colorectal cancer are well below expectations.

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that H&R Block's share price fell after its recent earnings report. In fact, the company's shares rose the next day. And the 600,000 taxpayers impacted by a delay in processing Form 8863 are not all H&R Block clients, as was originally stated; other providers are also involved. DailyFinance regrets the errors.