After Market: A Glass Ceiling Broke, and the Bull Market Took a Break

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New executives plan to move into the CEO suites at two prominent companies that have been making headlines recently. Mary Barra, a longtime top manager at General Motors (GM), is shattering the glass ceiling, taking over as CEO from Daniel Akerson.

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2012
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images Mary Barra
An engineer who's held several important posts at GM, Bara will become the first woman to head a major auto company. GM also named a new board chairman from outside the company. The automaker's stock fell 1 percent on the news.

And Lululemon (LULU) 1.7 percent after announcing the company's founder will step down as chairman, and that a new CEO has been named to replace the current chief, who announced during the summer that she would be leaving. The company has had a rough year, most notably due to a major recall of yoga pants that customers found unacceptably sheer. Its stock is slightly lower than it was a year ago.

Overall, investors took some profits off the table. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 52 points, dropping back below 16,000. The Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) lost 8 and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) dropped 6 points.

Starbucks (SBUX) was a drag on the Nasdaq, losing 3 percent after a bearish research report. It said the company's growth momentum is slowing. Nor was it a good day for Manny, Moe and Jack. Shares of Pep Boys (PBY) skidded 8 percent after posting disappointing quarterly results.

Burlington Stores (BURL) also fell 8 percent. It posted a loss in its first earnings report since going public. And Carl Icahn's holding company, Icahn Enterprises (IEP), fell nearly 11 percent. It plans to raise cash by selling 2 million units of stock.

Bucking the downtrend were some social media and internet stocks. Twitter (TWTR) rose another 6 percent and is now trading at more than double its IPO price. The stock has been on a tear lately despite some cautious comments from analysts. Facebook (FB) gained 3 percent after Morgan Stanley issued positive comments about the company's ad platform.

Finally, Rambus (RMBS) jumped 12 percent after signing a cross-licensing patent deal with Micron Technology (MU).

What to Watch Wednesday:
  • The Treasury Department releases the federal budget for November at 2 p.m. Eastern time.
  • President Barack Obama meets with college presidents and business leaders to discuss college costs.
  • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee about the Affordable Care Act.
  • Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew testifies before the House Financial Services Committee about the international finance system.
  • Costco (COST) releases quarterly financial results before financial markets open in New York.
  • Men's Wearhouse (MW) reports quarterly financial results after U.S. markets close.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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