Bears took the day as Wall Street ended lower on Wednesday. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 245 points, and ended with 8,769 points. The Nasdaq composite index was also down, falling 53 points and finishing at 1,599 points. While the S&P 500 index was closed Wednesday at 906 points after falling 28 points. The three major U.S. indexes each lost approximately 3% for the day. The Russell 2000 index was down 17 points, and finished at 497 points.
Oil prices were down significantly as were the equity markets, after slowly rising for the past week. The price for a barrel of oil was down $5.95, and settled at $42.63. Gasoline and heating oil futures were both down on the NYMEX. Gasoline was down to $1.08 a gallon, while heating oil finished at $1.54 a gallon. Natural gas prices were lower by $0.11 and closed the day at $5.87 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In corporate news, Time Warner Inc. (TWX:10.29,-0.69(-6.28%)), which owns HBO and AOL plans to report annual losses for the first time in six years. Write downs amounting to $25 billion were recorded in the fourth quarter alone. They will be officially releasing earnings early next month.
Intel Corp. (INTC:14.44,-0.93(-6.05%)) also had a unimpressive fourth quarter, announcing today that sales fell by 23% due to the recessionary environment. Revenues for Intel fell to $8.2 billion for they year, as compared to $10.7 billion for 2007. Analysts had expected sales of $8.8 billion for the quarter.
Shares of Family Dollar Stores Inc. (FDO:27.81,+3.48(+14.30%)) saw a strong increase, adding 14%, and finishing at $27.81 on Wednesday. The retailer announced a 14% jump in first quarter net income.
Monsanto Co. (MON:86.16,+12.94(+17.67%)) said that it has increased its full year forecast after fiscal first quarter profit nearly doubled due to increased sales of Roundup weed-killer and corn seeds.
Please join us again tomorrow for the market recap.
Disclosure: The fund the author is associated with holds a long position with INTC.