July 25, 2014: Markets opened lower on Friday as the markets come to grips with some weak earnings forecast for the current quarter. Only the basic materials sector managed to avoid a downturn. The report on durable goods included an indication that next week’s report on second-quarter GDP may come in a little weaker than expected. Shortly before closing today the DJIA traded down 0.80% for the day, the S&P 500 traded down 0.55%, and the Nasdaq Composite traded down 0.61%.
The biggest impact and the biggest percentage loss is the price leader among the Dow 30, Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), which traded down 3.77% at $214.35 today in a 52-week range of $170.99 to $235.50. Volume was more than double the daily average of around 2.6 million shares traded. Visa said this morning that it expects short-term headwinds which caused some analysts to lower earnings estimates.
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American Express Co. (AXP) traded lower by 1.41% at $91.84. The stock’s 52-week range is $71.47 to $96.24. Volume was about 10% above the daily average of around 2.9 million shares traded. The company had no news today, but it is in the same business as Visa and that weighed on the stock.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) traded down 1.20% at $84.65. The stock’s 52-week range is $66.72 to $87.24. Share volume was about 30% below the daily average of around 3.7 million shares traded. Peer WellCare Health Plans Inc. (WCG) posted a surprise second-quarter loss that hit the healthcare stocks hard today.
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Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) traded down 1.15% at $103.08 in a 52-week range of $84.79 to $104.72. Volume was about 40% below the daily average of around 9 million shares. Crude oil prices fell yesterday after Wednesday’s inventory report, and lower natural gas prices did not help Exxon either.
Of the Dow 30 stocks 24 are set to close lower today and only 6 are poised to close higher.