European Debt Downgrades and Economic Insecurity Leave Investors Wary (FDO, EQT, NWSA, GMCR)

Family Dollar Stores Inc (NYSE: FDO) announced their 2010 fiscal year financial results today. According to the report, the company’s sales increased by 6.3 percent in 2010. Net sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 rose 8 percent over the results of the same period during the year prior. Their report also mentions the company’s plan to buy back shares of common stock, up to $750 million worth.

European markets were down today while Asian markets were mixed. Europe’s difficult week is likely the result of Moody’s downgrading Anglo Irish debt this week and the rumors that they may be downgrading Spain’s as well.

While the Family Dollar financial results beat analysts’ expectations, concern over the European economy, dropping consumer confidence and the impending release of weekly jobless claims and quarterly financial results seem to have kept investors wary today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 22.86 points to 10,835.28 while the S&P 500 dropped 2.97 points to 1,144.73. The Nasdaq also dropped, losing a total of 3.03 points to 2,376.56.

Stocks in the news: EQT Corp (NYSE: EQT), News Corp (NASDAQ: NWSA), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (NASDAQ: GMCR).