July 31 - Summary of business headlines: Dreamworks profit surges on ''Croods'' success; S&P 500 best month since January; Fed stays on hold; Soros takes stake in Herbalife; Facebook hits IPO price. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Dreamworks Animation SKG's profits nearly doubled- thanks to the global success of "The Croods." Net income surged 73 percent- The news sending its stock higher in after hours trading. The closing bell for the month of July locking in the best monthly performance for the S&P 500 since January. Stocks closed mixed- ending a volatile session after the Fed gave no hint of a reduction in the pace of its bond buying coming anytime soon, in a statement after its policy meeting. Anthony Valeri of LPL Financial: SOUNDBITE: ANTHONY VALERI, SENIOR VP, FIXED INCOME RESEARCH, LPL FINANCIAL (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think today's FOMC meeting or the statement was another vote of confidence for bonds. I think Bernanke and company made it pretty clear that they are still very dovish. They are in no rush to remove accomodation and that they are in no rush more importantly to raise interest rates." Billionaire George Soros the latest high profile investor to take a big stake in Herbalife- according to Reuters sources. Shares rose to their highest level since May of 2012 on word of the stake as one of his top three holdings. Carl Icahn is also a large shareholder in the nutritional supplement company; Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman- has a billion dollar short against it and has called it a pyramid scheme. Ackman for his part unveiled his biggest bet ever- news that 2 months ago he bought more than $2 billion of Air Products and Chemicals company sent shares on a roller coaster ride in Wednesday trading. The U.S. economy picked up in the second quarter. GDP grew at a 1.17 percent annual pace- according to the Commerce Department. That was stronger than expectations. Separately, the ADP National Employment report showed U.S. companies added 200,000 jobs in July- beating forecasts. That strong economic data also helped to lift European stocks- with the major country averages all closing higher. Facebook hit an important milestone- climbing back to its $38 IPO price 14 months after its debut. Strong earnings driven by its improving mobile business has been lifting the stock. And JC Penney a big late day loser- A source told Reuters CIT is offering tighter credit terms for future shipments to small vendors supplying JC Penney- though they are still in negotiations.