May 15, 2014: Markets opened lower on Thursday and traded lower all day as the market headed for its second straight losing day. The 10-year Treasury note was in demand again today, pushing yields below 2.5%. Shortly before the closing bell the DJIA traded down 0.98%, the S&P 500 was down 0.93%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.71%.
The big loser on the Dow today was Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) which dropped 2.36% to trade at $76.88. The company’s earnings report this morning had little to cheer investors, and the retailer’s soft outlook sealed the deal. In the price weighted DJIA, though, Walmart stock doesn’t carry the influence of the pricier shares.
And it was the DJIA heavyweights that led the race to the bottom today, with the most heavily weighted stock, Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), down 1.09% at $207.59. There was no news on the stock today, but the financial sector stocks were particularly out of favor, down about 1.2%. Visa traded about 40% below its average daily volume of around 3.5 million share.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) traded down 1.78% at $156.62 in a new 52-week range of $148.71 to $181.13. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of nearly 3.4 million shares. A banker left the company who had led a lucrative sale of some $6.5 billion in bonds for a Malaysian development fund.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) shares traded down 1.20% at $186.45. Big Blue hosted its analyst day meeting yesterday and had no news today. The stock’s 52-week range is $172.19 to $211.98. Share volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 5 million shares traded.
Another big loser was The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) which slipped 1.17% today and traded at $131.44. The stock’s 52-week range is $96.30 to a $144.57. Share volume was about 10% lower than the daily average of around 4.2 million shares traded. Boeing got some good news on possible sales to aircraft lessor AerCap Holdings NV (NYSE: AER) but it wasn’t enough to overcome the overwhelming desire among traders to sell today.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) traded down 1.39% today at $115.66 in a 52-week range of $90.30 to $120.66. The defense and aerospace company also had no news today, but found out that, like Boeing, industrials were out of favor today. Volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.3 million shares.
Supermajor oil & gas producer Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) traded down 1.44% today at $100.82 in a 52-week range of $84.79 to $103.45. This could have been a day when oil stocks rose as the talk in Washington is that the ban on oil exports may be relaxed if not lifted altogether. But good news just meant that a stock didn’t fall as much as it might otherwise have. Volume was about 15% below the daily average of around 11.4 million shares.
Of the Dow 30 stocks only 2 looked to close higher today while 28 were on their way to a lower finish.