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


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.

  • Pollyanna Chu, 55, CEO of Kingston Financial, one of Hong Kong’s largest brokerage firms, joins the list for the first time with an estimated wealth of $1 billion.


    Pollyanna Chu

  • New York fashion designer Tory Burch, 46, made her fortune with her “preppy-boho” line of women’s off-the-rack fashion with Tory Burch LLC. In less than a decade, she accumulated a billion dollars in wealth, putting her on the Forbes list for the first time.

    Tory Burch

  • Sara Blakeley of Atlanta, Ga., is the youngest billionaire to make the list. The 42-year-old inventor of Spanx — the modern-day girdle, for men and women — went from a $5,000 investment to a billion dollars in net worth in 13 years with her company Spanx Inc. Blakeley is the youngest self-made female billionaire; Burch is second.

    Sara Blakeley

  • Elena Baturina, 49, started out as a worker at a cement factory in Moscow before taking courses in management, marrying the mayor of Moscow, and building her own notoriety in real estate and construction. With her brother, she founded Russian construction company Inteco. She’s worth $1.1 billion.

    Elena Baturina

  • Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) CEO Meg Whitman, 56, might be struggling with reviving the technology giant she currently heads, and she¬† might have lost an expensive bid to govern California in 2010, but nobody can say she didn’t get onto the list with her $1.9 billion in wealth.

    Meg Whitman

  • Oprah Winfrey, 59, needs no introduction. America’s only African-American on the list is worth $2.8 billion from her media company, Harpo Inc. These were dollars earned without the help of a billion-dollar inheritance.

    Oprah Winfrey

  • Doris Fisher, 81, co-founder of the Gap Inc. (GPS), co-founded the San Francisco-based retail giant with her late husband, Donald, in 1969. She’s worth $2.8 billion.

    Doris Fisher

  • Zhang Xin, 69, runs SOHO China Ltd., one of the largest property developers in China, along with her husband. The wife-and-husband team made their fortune in commercial real estate in Beijing and Shangahi. The dynamic duo is worth $3.6 billion despite recent declines in profits.

    Zhang Xin

  • Rosalia Mera, 69, is Spain’s wealthiest woman. She co-founded Inditex SA, parent company of the Zara brand of clothing, with her then-husband, Amancio Ortega Gaona. Her estimated worth is $6.1 billion.

    Rosalia Mera

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