Market Focus with Tom Hudson – Friday March 3, 2012

TOM HUDSON: Little bit of selling pressure as we move on into the
weekend. Let’s get you updated with tonight’s “Market Focus.” No much
Friday conviction for the major stock indices, just some small losses in a
narrow trading range for the day. Let’s take a look at the weekly
performance and finishing out the week pretty much where we began. The Dow
Industrials trading higher on two of the past five sessions on Tuesday and
Thursday for a fractional loss this week. The NASDAQ up three of the five
sessions with a gain of 0.4 of 1 percent, the best among the three big
indices. The S&P 500 finished higher by 0.3 of a percent for the week. The
S&P and the NASDAQ, it’s the eighth week of gains out of the past nine,
nice run there.

As for today, the energy sector was the biggest drag on the market.
This energy exchange-traded fund shed a little more than one percent on the
back of weaker oil prices. But interestingly enough, the volatility within
the sector was with coal stocks. Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) fell 6.5
percent. Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) was down almost 6 percent. And
Consol Energy shed almost 4 percent. Volatility with coal as we’ve seen
volatility with nat gas. Here’s the up and down with oil this week, a
volatile week with prices cooling just a tad today, dropping below $107 per
barrel. This recent rally has stalled out around $110 per barrel at least
so far.

We learned a little more about Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE)’s plan to split up
its company. It will spin off its coffee and tea business with shares that
will trade not in the U.S., but on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. That news
did help its big board listed shares here in the U.S., rising more than 7
percent. Volume jumped five fold in SLE with the stock rising to a new 52-
week high. This is part of the plan to split into two publicly traded

Speaking of food, we mentioned the initial public offering of online
restaurant review site Yelp. It got its high marks in its first day of
trading. Here are the details. Initial price of $15, surging more than 60
percent. Even with that though, it’s only the third best debut this year
for an IPO.

With gas prices on the rise, it’s common to see shoppers looking to
discount retailers as a way to save money. Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) is not
looking for more business this quarter though. In fact earnings last
quarter were $0.02 stronger than expected. Sales were also better than
anticipated, some good news. But shares of Big Lots (NYSE:BIG) fell four
percent today thanks to a disappointing outlook. Last year the company was
the target of some private equity buyout offers, that were rejected,
helping boost its share price. That was before today’s announcement.

The online photo giant Kodak continues looking for ways to raise
money. Today it agreed to sell its online photo services business to
competitor Shutterfly (NASDAQ:SFLY). Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) remains a
penny stock, trading well below a dollar per share. It’s no longer trading
on the New York Stock Exchange. It trades over the counter because it’s in
bankruptcy protection. But the buyer here, Shutterfly (NASDAQ:SFLY)
rallied strong, up 16.5 percent. Volume was seven times normal as it will
add to its customers while getting rid of a big competitor at the same

There was some confusion today around casino Wynn Resorts
(NASDAQ:WYNN). The company said it made a mistake when it filed a
regulatory disclosure about a land deal in Macau, China. The filing
indicated it was working on a deal that may be a new casino in China. The
stock even was halted for a time. Then the company came out and said no,
it was a mistake. After trading again began, shares jumped more than 4
percent before the closing bell. It traded higher but still finished with a
decent gain with traders now thinking some deal may in fact be in the

Late today we learned that General Motors (NYSE:GM) announced it will
unplug production of its Volt gas electric car for five weeks. It hopes to
reduce inventory in the face of slow sales.

And that is tonight’s “Market Focus.”

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