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Dropping nearly 100 points in the final hour-and-a-half of trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) , which had been flirting with all-time highs, ended lower today, losing 20 points, or 0.15%, to close at 14,054. After four 100-point swings in the last four trading days, today's losses were tempered, as revised GDP figures showed growth in the fourth quarter; earlier figures had shown GDP declining.
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) continues to be the Dow's hottest stock of the year (last year it was the biggest blue chip loser), and has risen a remarkable 41% in the first two months of 2013. After last week's impressive quarterly report showed progress in HP's turnaround, and this week's talk of an affordable, Android-run tablet, bulls are piling back into the stock with renewed confidence. Shares were up 1.8% Thursday to lead the Dow.
At the other end of the blue-chip spectrum today were Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) shares, which lost 1.1%. The massive retailer lost ground on news that its Chief Administrative Officer will be leaving the company in mid-March. One of the responsibilities of that job is labor relations, and those certainly could be going more smoothly. Some workers have been on strike at the company, and a number of employees walked out on Black Friday in November.
Shares of the global nutrition company Herbalife (NYSE: HLF ) rose 7.6% today on news that activist investor Carl Icahn will be granted the ability to nominate two board members, as well as the right to own up to 25% of Herbalife common stock. Icahn expressed his confidence in the business today; he already holds more than a 13% stake in the company.
Lastly, Groupon (NASDAQ: GRPN ) again made the news today, just a day after a horrendous earnings report that sent the stock tumbling. Today, co-founder and CEO Andrew Mason was replaced with two interim CEOs: Eric Lefkofsky and Ted Leonsis. Mason had been CEO for more than four years -- years that saw the stock plummet to about a quarter of its original listing price. Shares in the daily deals site rose after hours on the news of Mason's departure.
Groupon's story is one of the American Dream. The company went from 400 subscribers in 2008, to over 150 million today. While this story is definitely one of triumph on a business level, its success most certainly hasn't been shared by investors. Company shares have fallen over 80% over the past year and left investors panicked. Will this company live out its American Dream, or leave shareholders empty-handed? In order to answer that question, our analyst has compiled a premium research report with in-depth analysis on whether you should buy or sell Groupon right now, and why. Simply click here now to get started.