The poor economic news from abroad also hurt FedEx Corp.'s stock, which fell 4 percent. Chief financial officer Alan Graf said the current global economic environment and higher fuel prices are driving more customers to "trade down" or choose slower methods of shipping to save money, just like they did during the recession. Investors decided to focus on his comments, rather than the company's stellar performance. FedEx's quarterly profit more than doubled between December and February after it shipped more packages and charged higher prices.
While news out of China has been bad for global company stocks, it may provide some relief to consumers with oil prices falling. Gasoline has risen 59 cents per gallon since Jan. 1 and the average price nationwide is above $4 in at least eight states, plus the District of Columbia.
It was a good day for IPOs. Payment processor Vantiv Inc. soared 14.7 percent in its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, while email marketer ExactTarget Inc. rocketed up 32 percent on its first day of trading.
In other corporate news:â¿¿ Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped 3.8 percent on reports the generic drugmaker is in talks to buy European counterpart Actavis for about $7 billion. â¿¿ Discover Financial Services stock rose 2.7 percent, a day after it reported a 36 percent jump in its first-quarter profit. Customers used its credit card more and racked up higher balances but also improved their payment habits. â¿¿ Diamond Foods Inc. declined 7.2 percent after the maker of Emerald nuts and other snacks said it is suspending dividend payments to stockholders because of a new credit agreement.
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