Nov 7 - Summary: Twitter shares surge nearly $20 in debut, but social network peers get dumped; Wall Street tumbles on weak economic signals, strong dollar; Disney tops estimates; J.C. Penney sees first monthly sales gain in two years. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Wall Street has its worst day since August despite a flawless market open for Twitter. Economic concerns let some of the air out of a market near record highs. The U.S. economy grew in the third quarter at its fastest pace in a year, but consumer spending was anemic and the inventory building that pushed the number higher will likely subtract from this quarter's growth. A stronger dollar may also be a drag after a surprise rate cut from the European Central Bank put pressure on the euro. Blue chips - down triple digits for the first time since mid-October, the S&P 500 - down over one percent, while the Nasdaq saw loses approaching two percent. The micro-blogging phenomenon known as Twitter is now a Wall Street phenomenon; the stock nearly doubling in its first day of trade. That debut surge gives Twitter a market value of more than $24 billion, that's more than lifestyle brand Michael Kors, more than Internet media company Netflix, and four times the market value of the parent of the Nasdaq. Comparisons are leading some to question whether social media stocks are overpriced, like the tech bubble of the late 1990s. But Topeka Capital Market's Victor Anthony says no. SOUNDBITE: VICTOR ANTHONY, MANAGING DIRECTOR, TOPEKA CAPITAL MARKETS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The scenario is different now. The companies are a lot more profitable. They generate tons of free cash flow. Twitter is an exception, but I think there will generate profits in 2015 and 2016 on a free cash basis as well. So the scenario is vastly different right now. You have vastly sound business models that exist today and that is in a sharp contrast to what you saw in 1999." He has an outperform rating on Twitter. But Pivot Research says the stock is already too hot and slapped a sell rating on day one. Taking a look at how social media stocks fared: Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Angie's List, and Zynga were all down sharply for the day. In other corporate updates: Disney beat earnings forecasts after the close and revenues were ahead of expectations as well. Meanwhile, J.C. Penney posted its first sales gain at stores opened more than a year since the year 2011. That was good enough for a roughly 5.6 percent jump in the stock price. In Europe, stocks were caught off guard by that rate cut but Germany bounced back by the end of the session.