Mixed economic data kept investors from sending stocks dramatically higher or lower on Friday, but ended up luring more bulls than bears. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) finished higher for a sixth day in the last seven, closing at an all-time high, and adding 18 points, or 0.1%, to end at 16,717.
Even though U.S. consumer spending in April logged its first decline in a year, shares of the world's largest brick-and-mortar retailer, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), posted 1% gains. Wally World is shuffling its management team around in an attempt to focus on international growth. Today, the CEO of Wal-Mart's Canada operations, Shelley Broader, was promoted, giving her the new responsibility of overseeing the company's growth in Europe, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. While Europe is still reeling from the global recession, the Middle East and parts of Africa represent areas of potentially high future growth, although the geopolitical atmosphere is no doubt far more challenging than Broader was used to dealing with in Canada.
Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) weren't so lucky on Friday, as Wall Street took a healthy chomp out of the film studio's stock price, sending shares down 11.5%. Lions Gate is probably best known for its Hunger Games franchise, a four-film saga about a dystopian future society in which a small group of children annually fight to the death on national television. But you can't rest on your laurels in Wall Street any more than you can in Hollywood, and investors sent Lions Gate to the doghouse today for both revenue and earnings results that fell far short of expectations.
Last and definitely least in terms of today's popularity, shares of Infoblox (NYSE:BLOX) plummeted 36.8% today. Stocks don't just rack up one-day losses like that without something troublesome coming to light, and Infoblox had trouble in spades on Friday. Not only did last quarter's sales disappoint, but the computer networking equipment manufacturer forecast weak results in the current quarter and announced the resignation of its CEO. Yikes!
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