March 18, 2014: Markets opened higher on Tuesday and the number buyers rose throughout the day. There was something of a Vladimir Putin rally today following Russia’s formal annexation of Crimea, Putin’s claim that Russia seeks no more Ukrainian territory, and a realization that there really is little that the U.S. or anyone else can do change anything. In the final minutes of trading the DJIA was up 0.47%, the S&P 500 was up 0.63%, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 1.11%.
Today’s big gainer among the DJIA stocks is Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) which is up 3.69% at $39.46 in a 52-week range of $27.96 to $39.90 (a new high set today) just ahead of the closing bell. Volume is on track to be more than 40% above the daily average of some 36 million shares traded. There have been reports that the company’s Office suite of products will be available on Apple’s iPad, and that the company’s new CEO will make the announcement next week.
Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) beats out Microsoft as the most heavily traded Nasdaq stock today. The stock triggered a short-sale circuit breaker Tuesday afternoon that restricts prices for short sales. Shares are down 8.69% at $5.95 in a 52-week range of $0.15 to $11.72. Share volume was more than 25% above the daily average of around 41 million shares traded.
Biofuel maker KiOR Inc. (NASDAQ: KIOR) filed its Form 10-K with the SEC today and included a statement that the company may be unable to continue as a “going concern.” The shares posted an all-time low of $0.60 and closed at $0.63, down 41.11%. The stock’s 52-week high is $5.94. Volume is about 6-times the average daily volume of nearly 800,000 shares traded.
Among other actively traded stocks on the Nasdaq today, Geron Corp (NASDAQ: GERN) is traded up 38.76% at around $2.47. The drug maker’s shares dropped more than 50% last on news that a drug test had been put on hold. The stock is getting a boost today from investors who believe that the hold on the test is only temporary. Volume was about 6-times the daily average of around around 5.7 million shares traded.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) trades up 1.02% today. After dipping below $114 on Friday, the stock is set to close at $116.23 in its 52-week range of $109.27 to $127.83 shortly before the closing bell. Trading volume for Chevron’s shares was about 30% below the daily average of around 6.5 million shares.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 26 are set to close higher today while just 4 are on their way to a lower close.