Closing Bell: Stocks End Volatile Week with a Whimper
Concern about how long the Federal Reserve will continue its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program continued to weigh on investor sentiment. Speaking Wednesday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated the central bank could begin scaling back its stimulus program later this year. As the Wall Street Journal notes, Bernanke's message wasn't new, but it nonetheless sent global stocks reeling and led to a sell-off in bonds. The Journal's Fed reporter, Jon Hilsenrath, gave markets a boost by arguing that investors had missed hints of dovishness in Bernanke's remarks.
Among stocks making big moves Friday:
- Darden Restaurants (DRI), which runs Olive Garden and Red Lobster, fell $1.18, or 2.3 percent, to $50.06 after rising expenses hurt its fourth-quarter earnings.
- Shares of Oracle (ORCL) fell 9.3 percent after the company on Thursday reported higher earnings but said revenues were essentially flat for the second straight quarter.
- Satellite-TV operator Dish Network (DISH) officially abandoned its efforts to acquire Sprint Nextel (S). Dish and Softbank were competing to acquire the wireless carrier since April. Sprint opted for Softbank's $21.6 billion offer for 78 percent of the company, rather than Dish's $25.5 billion bid for all of Sprint.
- Shares of Groupon (GRPN) got a boost Friday after a Deutsche Bank analyst upgraded the online deals company to "buy" from "hold" and raised the price target to $10 a share from $6. The stock rose more than 5 percent to just under $8 a share.
- Apple (AAPL) lost 0.76 percent despite a decision by a Japanese court that found rival Samsung had infringed upon on Apple's patents for a so-called "bounce-back" feature used in displaying emails and documents on phones and tablet computers. In other Apple news, one of the first Apple computers, designed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, could fetch $500,000 or more when it goes on the auction block next week. Built in 1976, the Apple 1 computer at the time sold for $666.66.
It's not quite the summer doldrums, but with the current quarter winding down, most companies have reported earnings. Still, there are some retail stocks scheduled to report next week, and several key economic reports are also due out. Here's what to expect:
Monday, June 24
No major events scheduled
Tuesday, June 25
- The Commerce Department reports durable goods orders for May at 8:30 a.m. ET.
- S&P/Case-Shiller releases it latest home-price index for April at 9 a.m.
- The latest numbers on new home sales debut from the Commerce Department at 10 a.m., along with the Conference Board's latest take on consumer confidence.
- Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Walgreen Co. (WAG) report quarterly earnings.
- The Commerce Department releases first-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m.
- Monsanto Co. (MON) reports quarterly financial results.
- The Commerce Department releases personal income and spending for May at 8:30 a.m.
- At 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors releases pending home-sales figures for May.
- Nike Inc. (NKE) reports quarterly financial results.
- Research in Motion (BBRY) reports its latest quarterly earnings.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.