February 27, 2014: Markets opened slightly lower on Thursday following a weaker report on new jobless claims and a more encouraging report on durable goods orders. Traders chose to follow the lead of the durable goods orders. In the final minutes of trading the DJIA was up 0.26%, the S&P 500 was up 0.31% (and looks set to top its all-time high closing level of 1,848.36), and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.46%.
Today’s big gainer among the Dow 30 stocks was Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ). The telecom and wireless giant got a boost from two analysts who increased their price targets by 12% to13% today. Shares traded up 2.31% at $47.42 in a 52-week range of $45.08 to $54.31 just ahead of the closing bell. Verizon’s volume is on track to be about 4-times higher than the daily average of around 6.5 million shares traded.
Retailer J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) saw its share price skyrocket by 25.76% today after last night’s earnings results came in mixed instead of awful. Whether today’s jump is due to belief in the turnaround or short covering is a matter of opinion. Here’s ours. The stock will close around $7.52 in a 52-week range of $4.90 to $19.63. Volume was nearly 4-times the daily average of nearly 30 million shares traded.
The most heavily traded Nasdaq stock today is Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN). The daily deals company is set to close up 3.27% at $8.53, in a 52-week range of $4.24 to $12.76. The company’s share volume was nearly double the daily average of around 20 million shares traded.
Dow component Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) is adding 1.33% today and traded at $165.00 in its 52-week range of $137.29 to $181.13. The bank led the financial sector to a gain of about 0.4% which helped boost the S&P 500 to its new high. Trading volume for Goldman shares was about equal to the daily average of over 3 million shares.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 18 are set to close higher today while 12 are on their way to a lower close.