December 12, 2013: Markets opened mixed on Thursday morning with the Nasdaq showing some early spunk. The DJIA remained in negative territory all day, as did the S&P 500. By the closing bell, the Nasdaq had followed suit and all three major indexes closed lower. The DJIA closed down 0.66%, the S&P 500 closed down 0.38%, and the Nasdaq Composite closed down 0.14%.
Among heavily traded DJIA stocks, The Coca-Cola Co. (KO) traded right around its daily average of 15 million shares today but the shares took a hit from the news that competitor Pepsico Inc. (PEP) had taken Coke’s business from the Buffalo Wild Wings Inc. (BWLD) chain. Coca-Cola shares closed at $39.22, down 2.27%, in a 52-week range of $35.58 to $43.43.
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Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) opened slightly higher this morning, sliding to a daily low in the mid-morning and never recovering. Shares traded nearly 50% above average daily volume of 44 million. Cisco announced cuts to its long-term earnings and revenue targets this morning and that never brings out the buyers. Shares closed down 1.77% at $20.51 in a 52-week range of $19.31 to $26.49.
Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) picked up today where they left off yesterday, and then sank for a second straight day. Volume was about 20% lighter than the daily average of 5.2 million and the health insurer could be taking a hit as investors try to figure out how much impact signups for Obamacare will have on the company. The stock closed down 1.55% at $71.02 in a 52-week range of $51.36 to $75.88.
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Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also opened lower this morning and the stock price continued dropping all day. Share volume tracked about 15% higher than the daily average of 7.3 million. Today is apparently not a good one for defensive stocks, and those don’t come any more defensive than J&J. The stock closed down 2.09% at $91.16 in a 52-week range of $41.50 to $54.31.
A fifth DJIA component, Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) posted the largest gain of the Dow 30 today and was one of only six DJIA stocks to close higher for the day. Shares traded roughly equal to the daily average of 12.4 million. The company released its energy outlook today and predicted growing demand over the next 25 years, especially for natural gas and oil. The stock closed at $95.36, up 1.17%, in a 52-week range of $84.70 to $96.25.
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