January 31, 2014: Markets opened lower on Friday following a report on eurozone inflation that indicated that the monetary union’s recovery remains weak. Added to that were worries about emerging markets that have been a persistent theme through the first month of the year. The consumer sentiment index came in lower than a month ago and U.S. consumer spending outpaced income growth in December. The DJIA closed down 0.94%, the S&P 500 closed down 0.65%, and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.47%.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) weighed on the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 today following Thursday night’s earnings report and the company’s outlook for the current quarter. Investors have accepted the company’s low margin, high volume strategy and the nosebleed levels of the stock’s forward multiple for years. But maybe the honeymoon is over? The stock closed down 11.02% at $358.61 in a 52-week range of $245.75 to $408.06. Trading volume was more than 5-times the daily average of 2.9 million shares traded.
The largest percentage loser among the Dow 30 today was Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), down 4.16% to close at $111.60 in a 52-week range of $111.25 to $127.83. The company’s earnings report included lower production, lower margins, and lower prices for both crude and refined products. There was not a lot to like about what the company had to say. Chevron’s volume today was more than double the daily average of around 5.8 million shares.
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) slipped 2.41% for the day, likely on the coattails of an earnings miss by rival MasterCard In. (NYSE: MA). Consumer finance stocks were near the top of today’s sector losers. Shares closed at $215.56 in a 52-week range of $154.14 to $235.50. Volume was about 70% above the daily average of around 3 million shares.
One of the worst performers among the S&P 500 today was Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE: NEM). The gold and copper miner reported operational results last night, and while the report was solid for last year, looking ahead to 2014 is giving investors serious worry. The company has little room between its 2014 estimated gold price of $1,300 an ounce and its cost estimate of $1,075 to $1,175. Shares closed down 10.41% at $21.59 after setting a 5-year low today of $21.27; a drop of around $0.70 would put the stock at a 12-year low. The 52-week high is $45.82. Volume was about 3.5-times the daily average of more than 9 million shares traded.
Of the Dow 30 stocks only 5 closed higher today while 25 closed lower.