Investors dodged a bullet -- for now. The week ended with a holiday for the markets, but the government went ahead and announced some pretty lackluster March employment numbers on Friday. Thanks to a small trading window, S&P 500 futures showed that we're probably in line for a drop of more than 1% on Monday. But let's not count our chickens before they've been pastel painted like Easter eggs -- after all, investors have a three-day weekend to temper their pessimism.
By the close of trading on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The week's big winners
So if it doesn't look as if Coty is going to get to buy Avon, then why did shares surge? Easy: Because if Coty was willing to pay $10 billion -- or about $23.50 per share -- then investors may start to look at that offer as an effective floor on Avon's price tag.
Meanwhile, with so much nail-biting going on over at Best Buy, it should be no surprise that investors might overlook small-fry competitor Conn's. But after just one whiff of the consumer-electronics and appliance retailer's fourth-quarter numbers, investors quickly realized that they may be missing the boat. For the company's final fiscal quarter, it earned $0.34 per share, easily beating Wall Street's average estimate of $0.29. If that's not enough, management also jacked up fiscal 2013 guidance, from a range of $1.05 to $1.15 to a range of $1.20 to $1.30.
Top 3 Performing Russell 3000 Companies
|Company||Weekly Price Change|
|FelCor Lodging Trust||18.9%|
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is March 30-April 5. Includes only companies with a market cap of $250 million or greater.
Also among the week's top performers were Theravance
Theravance got a big boost when megaton partner GlaxoSmithKline
Fellow health-care industry representative Bio-Rad, on the other hand, watched its stock surge on some dour news. Last weekend, David Schwartz, the company's chairman and co-founder, passed away. His death fueled speculation that the company -- which is heavily owned by insiders -- may now look to sell itself. In my book, though, speculation like that is rarely -- if ever -- a good reason to buy.
By the end of the holiday-shortened week, Theravance had added 18%, while Bio-Rad had ticked up by 8%.
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