A few weeks ago, you’d have been hard-pressed to find anyone talking about Cyprus' role in the global economy. Today, the Mediterranean country -- whose population of just over 1 million pales in comparison with the Big Apple -- can’t stay out of the headlines. Though today's $13 billion agreement to shore up the country’s finances eased some fears, the scare still sent ripples through global markets: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) slipped 64 points, or 0.44%, to close at 14,447 Monday.
Taking a cue from one of its many competitors, Wall Street bid up Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) today, as the 0.8% gain led all blue chips. Optimism was fueled by the success of Dollar General (NYSE: DG), which had a strong quarter and intends to expand its offerings. While Wally World's product offerings run the gamut from gum to home accessories, the retailer is starting to pay more attention to goods below $1 as the slow recovery underscores the importance of affordable retail.
As for the Dow’s biggest underperformer, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) takes the cake today, shedding 1.3% in response to the Cyprus circus. We've learned all too well recently how interconnected our global banking system is; financials are especially vulnerable to news of fiscal weakness overseas. After the Dutch finance minister verbalized his country’s reluctance to participate in future European bailouts, investors were put on edge.
While not quite a rumor, all it took for shares in electric-car maker Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) to add 2.5% today was a Twitter post. Granted, the tweet was from CEO, founder, and full-time Renaissance man Elon Musk, who said the company will reveal an "exciting" announcement on Thursday. Though Tesla has yet to turn a quarterly profit, the innovative automaker hopes to end in the black this quarter.
Though it hasn’t yet released its quarterly results, due Thursday, mobile-phone maker BlackBerry (NYSE:BB) fell 4.6% today anyway. Comments from a Citigroup (NYSE: C) analyst insinuating that the launch of the new Z10 smartphone has been disappointing caused the dip. While remarkably popular in major foreign markets, BlackBerry has woes that are more domestic -- and unfortunately, that domestic market is massive, and if the company can’t lock down the U.S., it could get stomped by its competitors.