Market Wrap: Facebook's Third Leg; Flu Ravages Most of U.S.; NY Gets Tough on Firearms

January 15, 2013 6:00 PM EST
Market wrap-up for January 15th

End of the Day: S&P 500 up 1.7 to 1,472.34; Dow Jones up 27.6 to 13,534.89; Nasdaq down 6.7 to 3,110.70

The following is a brief summary of events moving markets today:

* Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) debuted a new feature for its platform today: Graph Search. The new feature will be in addition to Timeline and News Feed to help users connect and share with others. The move is a boon for Facebook in that it will be able to gather cleaner data to sell advertisement space.

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* U.S. retail sales saw a nice pop in December, rising an adjusted 0.5 percent amid improving employment and massive discounts by retailers. For fiscal 2012, sales rose 5.2 percent while fourth-quarter results ticked 4.2 percent to the upside. For more color, click here.

* Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) got a little boost from the Facebook news today, moving about 1.2 percent higher on the session. Facebook announced it would utilize the search engine for run Graph Search. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) sank on the news, rebounding a little toward the end of the day.

* Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) was moving around again today, finishing about 7 percent higher. Initial chatter centered on banks moving forward with financing and then progressed into some pricing speculation. For more color, click here.

* Lennar (NYSE: LEN) reported fourth-quarter results today. Revenue of $1.35 billion and EPS of 56 cents compared with consensus views calling for revs of $1.32 billion and EPS of 45 cents. For more on the quarterly results, click here.

* Smith & Wesson (Nasdaq: SWHC) and Strum Ruger (NYSE: RGR), among a few other companies associated with firearms, are pressured late Tuesday night after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a bill that would expand the state's ban on assault weapons, put a ban large-capacity magazines, and implements new measures on background checks. Reports say its one of the nations toughest gun control measures.

* Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) and CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) are reporting a shortage on flu vaccines in key markets like Michigan and New Jersey as a more severe season is rolling through several areas. In total, 47 states are now well into flu season with New York and Boston declaring health emergencies, Bloomberg noted today.

* Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) was pressured again on further chatter surrounding the company's strategy moving forward. Will it make a low-cost iPhone? Is it still an innovative company when it comes to putting out new product?

In any case, Nomura cut its price target by $130 to $530 per share, seeing pressure on gross margins.

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