Last Week: Dow and S&P Fall on Bad Econ Data and Winter Freeze

Still crushing throat lozenges after all the "U-S-A" chants reverberating from your Olympics-inspired mouth? (We're disappointed, by the way, men's ice hockey team.) Relax and check out what kept stocks flat during the holiday-shortened four-day week.
 
1. Major "fails" by Under Armour and 1-800-Flowers
Your favorite Valentine's Day savior, 1-800-Flowers (NASDAQ: FLWS  ) , got punched by Cupid after last week's East Coast blizzard delayed Valentine's deliveries -- consumers complained big time on social media, and investors dropped the stock like a wilting rose. And over in Sochi, U.S. speed skaters blamed their Olympic failure on Under Armour's (NYSE: UA  )  fancy, "technologically advanced" suits, so Wall Street punished UA shares. The stock made a recovery, though, on Friday, on word that the company is still reupping its contract with the U.S. Olympic team for eight years.

2. Fourth-quarter earnings winners ...
Tesla Motors earnings hit another gear as the hot electric-car pioneer delivered a record number of Model S sedans. More Americans turned to Groupon for cheaper holiday gifts, boosting the company to a record quarter. And DirecTV earnings rose again as the service added more customers than expected (and squeezed even more money out of 'em).

3. ... and fourth-quarter earnings losers
In its second ever quarterly earnings report since its 2013 IPO, Potbelly said cold weather resulted in poor earnings (we just think their sandwiches aren't very good). Although Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  )  blamed absurdly cold winter polar vortexes for keeping away shoppers, grocery sales were down on Congress' recent cut to food stamps. Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  )  suffered a flat quarter as health campaigns begin to cut into soda sales and revenues slow in emerging markets.
 
4. Big week for acquisitions
Family owned, 150-year-old chocolate classic Russell Stover announced that it's putting itself up for sale, with expectations that the candy-maker (whose treats are found in 70,000 stores worldwide) will fetch around $1 billion. The big buy of the week, though, came from Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  ) , which dropped $4 billion in cash and $15 billion in stock on international messaging app WhatsApp, as the social network tries to find a new way to take over your life, since millennials are (increasingly) getting bored with status updates and profiles.

5. Big week for IPOs
King Digital Entertainment, the random Finnish company behind the bright, colorful mobile game Candy Crush, announced that it's planning an initial public offering to raise $500 million so that it can start making more than one game that people will actually want to play. And in case you were hungry for more IPOs, Web-based food delivery service Grubhub-Seamless is ordering up one as well, with more details to come.

6. Winter keeps hurting housing market
Blame it on the polar vortex. January home sales fell 5.1% to their lowest level since 2012, homebuilder confidence hit its lowest level in a year, and construction on new homes dropped 16%. Throughout 2013, housing, jobs, and manufacturing data continued to improve, getting investors pumped for the strengthening U.S. economic recovery. But for 2014, that econ data has been ugly, as absurdly cold temperatures slowed real estate action, thanks to consumers who stayed by their fireplaces.

What MarketSnacks Is Checking Out This Week:
  • Monday: Speech from the Fed Vice Chair
  • Tuesday: Consumer confidence; earnings: DreamWorks, Macy's
  • Wednesday: New home sales; earnings: Abercrombie & Fitch, Target
  • Thursday: Durable goods orders; earnings: AMC Networks, Monster Beverage
  • Friday: US GDP; earnings: Woolworth's

As originally published on MarketSnacks.com

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