March 3, 2014: Markets opened lower on Monday following a weekend of worry over the developing crisis in Ukraine. For most of the day every one of the Dow 30 industrials was trading in the red, and in the red they remained shortly before closing Oil, gold, corn, and wheat were all higher, and yields on 10-year Treasuries fell about 0.05, or 2%, to 2.6050. In the final minutes of trading the DJIA was down 1.08%, the S&P 500 was down 0.87%, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.86%.
Today’s biggest loser among the Dow 30 stocks was Visa Inc. (NYSE: V). There was no special news on the company, but investors who owned the most expensive stock on the Dow might have decided to pull out in favor of something safer. Shares traded down 2.22% at $220.90 in a 52-week range of $155.68 to $235.50 just ahead of the closing bell. Visa’s volume is on track to be roughly equal to the daily average of around 3.3 million shares traded.
Dow and Nasdaq Composite component Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) saw its share price tumble 1.61% today following the weekend announcement of two senior management changes. The world’s largest software company had no further news today, but got caught up in the whirlpool of the market sell-off. The stock will close around $37.70 in a 52-week range of $27.64 to $38.98. Volume was nearly 40% below the daily average of nearly 40 million shares traded.
The most heavily traded Nasdaq stock today is Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB). The social media company is set to close down 1.85% at $67.22, in a 52-week range of $22.67 to $71.44. The company’s share volume was about 20% below the daily average of around 64 million shares traded.
Retailer J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) is adding 9.2% today and traded at $7.95 in its 52-week range of $4.90 to $19.63 shortly before today’s closing bell. The retailer announced today that it would no longer release monthly same-store sales data. Some take this as a signal that the turnaround has begun. Others would like to get the data. That would be our position. Trading volume for Penney’s shares was nearly 50% higher than the daily average of nearly 30 million shares.
All 30 stocks in the DJIA are set to close lower today.