February 5, 2014: Markets opened lower on Wednesday following the report from ADP that nonfarm payrolls had risen less than expected in January. And unlike yesterday, the Japanese yen gathered strength early in the day, putting some pressure on equity investors. The DJIA closed down 0.03%, the S&P 500 closed down 0.20%, and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.50%.
Among Dow stocks, Pfizer Inc. (PFE) gave back most of the gain it made yesterday, down 1.64% to close at $30.67 in a 52-week range of $26.79 to $32.50. Rival Merck & Co. Inc. (MRK) reported soft earnings this morning and said it would cooperate with Pfizer and other large drugmakers on new cancer treatments. Pfizer’s volume today was nearly 30% higher than the daily average of around 25 million shares.
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) posted on of the largest gains among Dow 30 stocks today, up 0.81% to close at $174.24. There was no news on the company today but technology stocks were the best performers on the S&P 500 today. The stock’s 52-week range is $172.18 to $215.90. Trading volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 5.3 million shares traded.
Chevron Corp. (CVX) lost 1.17% for the day to close at $109.53. The stock posted a new 52-week low of $109.27 today. The stock’s annual high is $127.83. We noted earlier today that Chevron’s outlook is clouded by some large capex spending on tap for this year. With lower production volumes and lower pricing for crude, the pullback is understandable, but may be premature. Volume was more than 30% above the daily average of around 3 million shares.
A non-index stock that traded unusually large volume at a big loss today was 3D Systems Corp. (DDD). The company lowered guidance for both 2013 and 2014 this morning. Shares closed down 15.41% at $64.08 in a 52-week range of $27.88 to $97.28. Volume was about 7-times the daily average of 5.5 million shares.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 13 closed lower today while 17 closed higher.