December 19, 2013: Markets opened lower on Thursday, probably a result of profit taking after all the buying that followed Wednesday’s FOMC announcement. The three major indexes closed mixed. The DJIA closed up 0.07%, the S&P 500 closed down 0.06%, and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.29%.
Among heavily traded DJIA stocks, today’s biggest gainer was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX which opened flat this morning before climbing as investors seemed to interpret the improving economic news as leading to more demand for energy. Chevron’s international presence was also a likely contributor to its rising stock price. Shares traded about 15% below their daily average of around 6 million and closed at $123.21, up 1.32%, in a 52-week range of $105.75 to $127.83.
The Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) also opened flat this morning before picking up nicely just before the noon hour. Volume was about 25% off the daily average of around 7 million. The stock put up a new 52-week high in mid-afternoon trading before pulling back slightly. Disney’s stock closed up 1.08% at $72.97 in a 52-week range of $48.80 to its new high of $73.08.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) opened nearly flat as well, and managed to start rising shortly after trading began. The stock closed up 0.86% at $180.23 in a 52-week range of $172.57 to $215.90. Trading was about 10% lower than the average daily volume of around 5 million shares.
On the down side, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) opened nearly flat and the stock price slowly sank throughout the day. There was no significant news, but the sell-off was very likely profit taking. Trading was nearly 305 below its average daily volume of around 43 million. The stock closed down 0.87% at $36.26. The 52-week range is $26.28 to $38.98.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 10 closed higher today, 19 closed lower, and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) finished flat.