After a huge run-up in stocks in January, investors were bound to have to deal with a correction at some point. Today, they got exactly that, with the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) suffering their worst decline of the year, falling 130 points and dropping below the 14,000 level just a day after reaching it for the first time in more than five years. European stocks fell even more sharply, as recessionary concerns threaten both companies in the eurozone and multinationals that count on the region for sales.
The only company among the Dow's 30 components that managed to post a gain today was Boeing (NYSE: BA ) , which rose about half a percent. The company said it had sued three of its foreign partners in a satellite-launching service that went bankrupt in 2009, arguing that they should have paid Boeing more than $350 million to reimburse the aerospace giant for loan guarantees it made. Still, the real key to Boeing's future is whether it can get its Dreamliner back up and flying, with its entire fleet currently grounded pending safety investigations.
Elsewhere, Humana (NYSE: HUM ) soared almost 5% after reporting strong earnings and reaffirming its guidance for 2013. Net income fell short of year-ago levels, and revenue missed expectations, but earnings per share beat analyst estimates. Investors celebrated even though its expected 2013 range of $7.60 to $7.80 per share fell below consensus forecasts among analysts. As more elements of Obamacare start to phase in, Humana could see substantial volatility as it adjusts to new industry conditions.
Finally, Sonus Networks (NASDAQ: SONS ) rose more than 20% after rival Acme Packet (UNKNOWN: APKT.DL ) received a massive buyout bid from Oracle. Traders are speculating that Sonus might be next in line for a buyout from some other massive tech company seeking to build up its networking equipment capabilities. But such bets are dangerous, especially given that there are relatively few Oracle-sized companies out there in a position to benefit from an acquisition of Sonus.
Can Boeing keep flying higher?
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