A day after aluminum producer Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) announced positive quarterly results, setting the tone for America's corporate earnings season, markets rose in anticipation of continuing economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) rose 61 points, or 0.46%, to close at 13,390.
After consecutive days as one of the Dow's worst performers, aerospace mainstay Boeing (NYSE: BA ) bounced back, leading the index forward with 3.6% gains. The stock took a beating Monday and Tuesday, after a fire broke out on one of the company's new 787 Dreamliner models in Boston. While no passengers were on the plane, investors still weren't too fond with the safety concerns raised. Boeing stated yesterday that the incident didn't indicate systematic problems with the new model, giving markets enough reason to bid up shares of the company days after a mechanical fire.
Shares in the largest decliner in the Dow today, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , were driven lower by an analyst downgrade. A Credit Suisse analyst cut 2013 and 2014 EPS estimates on Wednesday, citing litigation costs related to the bank's lending practices during the depths of the financial crisis. Shares were hit big, falling 4.6%.
Embattled protein-shake maker Herbalife (NYSE: HLF ) rallied 4.2% today, as news came that a prominent hedge fund manager had taken a large stake in the company. Daniel Loeb's Third Point owns more than 8% of the stock, which has plummeted in the past month after allegations of a Ponzi scheme emerged in December. Even after a 21% rebound in January, shares still trade 12% lower than they did just a month ago.
Finally, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) was a big winner today, jumping more than 5% to settle above $30 a share for the first time since July. After the markets closed yesterday, the company issued invitations to the media for an upcoming event at the social-networking company's California headquarters. While it may not sound like much, it could signal a major announcement from Mark Zuckerberg's brainchild.
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