The S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was hot today. The index rallied -- breaking the 1,700 mark for the first time ever -- as European Central Bank President Mario Draghi echoed the Federal Reserve's tone of preserving a low-interest rate environment. While the S&P finished at an all-time closing high after adding 1.3%, and ending at 1,706, not all of its individual components were so lucky. In fact, some of them performed rather horrendously.
Cosmetic powerhouse Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) fell 3.7% today after reporting quarterly profits that beat -- yes, beat -- expectations. Of course, that isn't the whole story: The company also revealed that regulators rejected Avon's $12-million offer to settle allegations of bribery in foreign markets. The investigation is proving to be an ongoing headache for the company and its shareholders; Avon first started looking into the matter back in 2008.
Meanwhile, Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK), which makes computer-aided design, or CAD, software, lost 3.2%, as Wall Street reacts to recent disappointments in the 3-D printing and innovative manufacturing arenas. CAD applications can be used to help users model and design the end product when using 3-D printers, and with one of 3-D printing's leaders, 3D Systems, disappointing on earnings Tuesday, that market may not be growing as quickly as Autodesk investors expected.
Lastly, solar-panel manufacturer First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) lost 2.2% Thursday as its shares were also punished after another company's ominous quarterly results. The stock was hit by SunPower's report, specifically the part that projected at least $100 million less revenue in the current quarter than analysts were expecting. In a relatively nascent industry like solar power, each quarter is vitally important in gauging the commercial viability of the industry as a whole, and with First Solar set to announce earnings August 6, you can't blame shareholders for getting a little queasy following SunPower's underwhelming forecasts.
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