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.
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.
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.