Stocks had another big drop yesterday, but there were rays of
hope as some companies leapt on good news and others were targeted
by buyers at the lows.
CNO Financial, for instance, reported a 62 percent surge in
operating income and better-than-expected revenue. The insurance
stock, which has seen sporadic call buying, gapped higher and at
one point was up 12 percent. It ended the session with an 8.18
percent gain at $6.88.
Herbalife, which distributes weight-loss and health products
through a network of independent sellers, popped 10 percent after
earnings crushed estimates. The stock attracted noteworthy put
selling last month after dropping sharply, suggesting that it had a
base of loyal investors.
Yesterday's surge in HLF came three sessions after related company
Weight Watchers exploded higher, a move preceded this time by call
Jewelry retailer Zale also ripped after a strong holiday season
resulted in a positive earnings report. The stock closed up by
about 6 percent, but at one point had gained triple that amount
before pulling back. Chico's FAS also reported strong sales and
leapt by 9 percent to a nine-month high.
The moves were noteworthy given how negative the broader market has
been. Not only did the Dow Jones Industrial Average record its
second consecutive triple-digit loss, but the number of losing
stocks on the New York Stock Exchange exceeded winners by a net
2,770--the worst number since Aug. 11 when the DJIA cratered 2.49
Amid the pullback, some investors took the opportunity to buy
favored names, especially in the fertilizer and chemical