Economic problems can only be swept under the rug for so long before investors begin to trip on the rug. That seems to be the case in Europe, where large rallies against further austerity measures have erupted in both Spain and Greece. As my Foolish colleague Alex Dumortier noted earlier this morning, Spanish 10-year bonds are back above 6%, having their worst day in more than a month. If we've learned anything, it's that there's no quick solution to this mess.
For the day, the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) ended decisively lower by 8.27 points (0.57%) to 1433.32. Let's take a look at a few companies that had a particularly large impact on the S&P 500 today.
Electronic-parts manufacturer Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL) was the disaster du jour for Wednesday, losing nearly 10% after a dismal fourth-quarter report and upcoming forecast. Jabil's short-circuit included a 28% decline in fourth-quarter profits because of lower demand and rising expenses. Looking forward, the components provider expects first-quarter earnings of $0.51 to $0.62, which is well below the $0.67 Wall Street had been looking for. Today's move lower may represent a decent buying opportunity, however, as Jabil's CEO, Timothy Main, was recently named of one of the 10 best mid-cap CEOs by Chiefest.com.
Homebuilders also had a particularly rough day following the release of disappointing new-home sale data - but given how much they've run, perhaps a pullback was written in the cards. Both Lennar (NYSE: LEN), which boasts the highest homebuilding margins in the sector, and D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI), America's largest homebuilder, dipped 4.5% and 3.9%, respectively. Data from July suggests homes are selling at an annual rate of 373,000, the highest since April 2010. Keep in mind, though, that this is still well below the housing sector's historical average, and a far cry from the 1.4 million in annual sales reached in 2005.
Bucking the trend and receiving the gold star for the day is dairy-products company Dean Foods (NYSE: DF). Dean finished the day better than 5% higher after it announced that it's considering a possible sale of its Morningstar dairy division. Responsible for producing coffee creamers and various blended beverages, Dean thinks Morningstar would be a hot commodity, although it hasn't exactly identified a buyer for the business yet. Dean was also clear that a sale would be made only if it maximized shareholder value.
Duck and cover? Not quite ...
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