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The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) creeped lower today while the Nasdaq pulled ahead, with a great performance from online travel stocks, led by TripAdvisor (Nasdaq: TRIP ) , up 16.70%. The other two large U.S indices were lower because of an unanticipated drop in April's private-sector hiring, which hit its lowest level in seven months and came in more than 30% under expectations, worrying investors about what it could mean for Friday's jobs report. The horrible job figures pushed a number of Dow components lower, but none experienced a sell-off to the extent that Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK ) did today.
The energy giant has been a mainstay in the news this past month, and today was no different. Chesapeake was up more than 6% yesterday after CEO Aubrey McClendon announced that he was stepping down as chairman, but after yesterday's close, everything turned dark for nation's second-largest natural-gas company. Chesapeake missed badly on earnings, shifting the shares lower, and more news involving the CEO opened the trap door as shares plummeted, closing down 14.49% on historically high volume.
Chesapeake wasn't the only loser today. Let's look at three Dow stocks that held the index down.
Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) , down 2.41%
The aluminum producer is once again looking at possible reductions in the amount of alumina it will need to produce this year. After cutting capacity in January, Alcoa may need to make further reductions in capacity, as aluminum demand is growing at a smaller clip than expected. Alcoa is already reducing production by 3% in its venture with Alumina from the figures budgeted in February.
Bank of America, down 1.81%
B of A traded lower today, and it was the second busiest stock of the day after Chesapeake, trading on heavy volume, which appears to be the norm these days. The drop in the bank's share price had more to do with general industry sentiment than with its individual performance, as the sector by and large dropped precipitously.
Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) , down 1.15%
India announced today that it's cutting back on Iranian oil purchases because of pressure from the United States. However, the weak private-sector jobs report is probably the catalyst shifting this stock price down, as the recovery is losing steam.
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