Throwback Thursday: Cold War-esque Tensions Send Stocks Plummeting

Michael Teague |

Thursday’s Results:

●     Standard & Poor’s 500: -1.17 percent to 1,846.35

●     Dow Jones Industrial Average: -1.41 percent to 16,108.89

●     NASDAQ: -1.46 percent to 4,260.42

Stocks on Wall Street opened Thursday’s trading session with momentum from better that expected retail sales data, as well as jobless figures from the previous week that fell to their lowest in 3 months. But the good news was quickly swept under the rug by an increasingly tense situation in Eastern Europe with only 3 days until Ukraine’s Crimean region will participate in a referendum on whether or not it will secede from the Ukraine to join its Russian neighbor.

Equities fell precipitously, squashing any sign of earlier gains as Western leaders threatened Russia with as-yet unspecified political and economic consequences if it proceeds with what many expect will be the annexation of a large swathe of Eastern Ukraine, and it is uncertain what, if anything, will be accomplished in London on Friday when US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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Gold stocks benefitted from the throwback to Cold War-era geopolitical tensions on Thursday, with Barrick Gold (ABX) and Newmont Mining (NEM) among the day’s gainers, with both up around 2 percent by the bell.

Other stocks also withstood the day’s heavy selling activity, lead by Plug Power’s (PLUG) nearly 17 percent gain, spurred by the company’s release of earnings for the recently-ended fourth quarter which showed strong sales during the period. Small-cap biotech firm Chelsea Therapeutics International (CHTP) was also a standout, adding over 14 percent by the end of the session amid ongoing rumours of a possible acquisition.

Tech stocks were one of the largest victims of Thursday’s sell-off, with Facebook (FB) , Cisco Systems (CSCO) , Zynga Inc (ZNGA) , and Microsoft (MSFT) among those hardest hit.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
FB Facebook Inc. 171.11 -1.06 -0.62 11,163,123 Trade
CSCO Cisco Systems Inc. 32.70 0.10 0.31 19,870,013 Trade
ABX Barrick Gold Corporation 16.33 -0.14 -0.85 7,739,338 Trade
SCTY SolarCity Corporation n/a n/a n/a 0 Trade
BBY Best Buy Co. Inc. 53.95 1.36 2.59 6,502,202 Trade
ZNGA Zynga Inc. 3.87 -0.04 -1.02 4,610,134 Trade
NEM Newmont Mining Corporation 37.43 -0.20 -0.53 4,411,315 Trade
MSFT Microsoft Corporation 74.21 -0.73 -0.97 19,186,603 Trade
PLUG Plug Power Inc. 2.47 -0.27 -9.85 18,384,564 Trade
FEKR Fertil-A-Chron Inc 0.00 0.00 0.00 0

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