The 4 Stocks Everybody's Talking About Today

Breaking down the market's big stories.

Anand Chokkavelu
Anand Chokkavelu, CFA
Sep 11, 2012 at 12:00AM

The market moved up a bit today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) was up 0.5%, the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) 0.3%, and the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) 0.02%. With that as context, let's look at the stocks everybody was talking about.

Mutual fund titan Legg Mason's (NYSE: LM) shares saw a 5.4% gain today as it announced that Chairman and CEO Mark Fetting will be stepping down on Oct. 1, probably in response to pressure from an activist investor. The stock has fallen about 70% from its 2007 highs as its now-departed star equity-fund manager Bill Miller saw hard times after a 15-year streak of beating the market.

Meanwhile, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington interviewed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco. Zuckerberg spoke about Facebook's not-so-great mobile results and also addressed the company's post-IPO stock swoon, terming the stock's performance "disappointing." Ahead of the interview, Facebook shares closed up 3.3% for the day.

On the Dow, Bank of America led all components with a 5.2% gain. Its shares are now just over $9 a stub. Among the related news of the day, Bloomberg reports that "Merrill Lynch & Co. won an appeal upholding a federal judge's dismissal of the second of two race-bias lawsuits filed against it by black financial advisors."

And finally, succession planning has been on the minds of Ford (NYSE: F) investors as its fantastic CEO Alan Mulally has been looking to step down. Bloomberg is reporting that Mark Fields is going to be promoted to chief operating officer at this month's board meeting, which will begin tomorrow. That would put him as the clear next in line when Mulally retires (that's expected to be the end of 2013). For more on Ford, check out our premium Ford report.

If you're looking for some more long-term investing ideas, read the Fool's brand-new free report: "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need." It's absolutely free, so get your copy today.