Market Minute: J.C. Penney Gets a Boost; Facebook Nears IPO Level


Investors "like" Facebook shares, and a big retailer is making progress with its turnaround effort.

Tuesday was a mediocre day. The Dow industrials (^DJI) lost a point, the S&P 500 (^GPSC) edged up less than a point and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) gained 17.

A customer leaves a J.C. Penney store, Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in New York. J.C. Penney is hoping its former CEO can revive the retailer after a risky turnaround strategy backfired and led to massive losses and steep sales declines. The company's board of directors ousted CEO Ron Johnson after only 17 months on the job. The department store chain said that it has rehired Johnson's predecessor, Mike Ullman. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Mark Lennihan/AP

A rare bit of good news for the J.C. Penney (JCP). A research firm says the struggling retailer is in second place for back-to-school shoppers doing their buying online. Walmart Stores is easily No. 1, but Penney is ahead of Macy's (M), Target (TGT), Staples (SPLS) and (AMZN).

If you bought Facebook (FB) shares when they debuted more than a year ago, you're finally near breakeven on that investment.

Facebook begins the day just 37 cents shy of the initial public offering price 14 months ago. They started to slide right after that launch -- at one point losing more than half their value. But the social network reported surprisingly strong earnings last week and launched a pilot program to help mobile game developers.

Media giant Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) says its quarterly earnings rose a better-than-expected 29 percent. It continued to lose cable subscribers, but add Internet customers. CBS (CBS) reports after the closing bell.

Amgen's (AMGN) earnings were little changed from a year ago, but its results still beat expectations. Sales of several key drugs improved, and the biotech giant raised its forecast for the rest of the year.

A unit of Pfizer (PFE) admits it illegally marketed a kidney transplant drug for use in other organ transplants. It will pay nearly $500 million in fines and other penalties.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) has received a Pentagon order for an additional 71 F-35 fighter jets. The contract is worth about $7 billion, a discount of about 6 percent from previous awards.

A hedge fund run by activist investor Bill Ackman has acquired a nearly 10 percent stake in Air Products & Chemicals (APD) -- a leading supplier of industrial gases.

Finally, keep an eye on the market at 2 p.m. Eastern time. That's when the Federal Reserve issues its latest statement on economy following its two-day policy meeting.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.