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Stock market close, July 25, 2014: The Dow Jones today (Friday) posted a 123-point loss, while other U.S. markets also finished in the red, on poor earnings outlooks and news that the economy may not have recovered as much as expected in the second quarter.
Shipments of capital goods slipped by 1% in June, marking the third consecutive month of declining volumes. Meanwhile, gold prices bounced back from a five-week low, recovering to finish above $1,300 an ounce. All eyes will be on the initial release of second-quarter GDP next Wednesday.
Here's the scorecard from today's trading session:
Dow: 16,960.57, -123.23 (-0.72%)
Nasdaq: 4,449.56, -22.54 (-0.50%)
S&P 500: 1,978.34, -9.64 (-0.48%)
And here are the top stories that affected the stock market today:
- Today's Biggest Loser: Trading of CYNK Technology Corp. (OTCMKTS: CYNK) resumed today, two weeks after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission halted movement of the stock. CYNK stock promptly fell more than 80% this morning. The SEC was concerned about share price manipulation, given the odd structure of the company that has one employee and no real assets. Shares had surged more than 23,000% from June 16 to the time trading was halted. The company claims it will evolve into a social media business.
- Processing Profits: Shares of Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) slumped more than 4% on news that the company slashed its 2014 outlook. Visa announced third-quarter earnings on Thursday that beat analyst expectations but caused shares to slump after hours and 3.85% today. The firm said that volumes of payments were on the rise internationally. Visa comprises the largest segment of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and its downturn on the day was one of the primary drivers of the triple-digit loss for the index.
- Crazy Profits: Shares of restaurant chain El Pollo LoCo Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) surged nearly 50% during its trading debut on Friday. More than 7 million shares were priced at $15 during the IPO and began a quick ascent a little after 12 p.m.
- Retail Woes: Amazon stock (Nasdaq: AMZN) finished down 10% and saw 7 million shares traded in the first 45 minutes this morning, following earnings released after market close Thursday. The company registered an unexpected quarterly loss and said it had hiked investments in new products and business lines. To battle rivals, Amazon has released a subscription book service, a TV streaming-box, new television and film content for its Prime video service, and the "Fire" smartphone, which launched today.
- Chinese E-Commerce Surges: Shares of Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq ADR: BIDU) surged more than 7.5% on news that China's largest Internet search firm crushed earnings estimates. The company reported a 34.1% increase in quarterly net profits. BIDU said that a surge in mobile advertising helped fuel the boom in profits. It was a good day all around for Asian tech companies. NQ Mobile Inc. (NYSE ADR: NQ) was up more than 11%; Ubic Inc. (Nasdaq ADR: UBIC) was up nearly 7%, and social network YY Inc. (Nasdaq ADR: YY) jumped more than 5%. The BLDRS Asia 50 ADR Index (Nasdaq: ADRA) hit a 52-week high this morning. Here's the full story on Baidu's earnings beat and what it means for BIDU stock over the long run…
- Banks Behaving Badly: Federal regulators announced that LavaFlow Inc., a division of Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C), will pay $5 million to settle civil charges that it failed to protect confidential trading data of customers. The settlement will allow the bank to resolve the charges without having to admit any guilt. Shares of Citigroup were flat on the day.
Now our experts share some of the most important investment moves to make based on today's market trading – for Money Morning Members only: