This afternoon, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) hit a high of 16,456, putting the index up more than 125 points for the day. But with little news, just after 12 p.m. EDT, the index began heading south. It didn't stop until trading for the day ended at 4 p.m. EDT when the blue-chip index sat at 16,302, down 28 points, or 0.17% for the day. The other major indexes, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, also ended the session in the red, down 0.3% and 0.98%, respectively.
Dow component Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) maintained its move higher today, despite the index falling into the red. The stock rose 0.96% during the day on nearly triple the average volume. More than 17.1 million shares were traded; the three-month rolling average is only 6.5 million. The higher volume may have played a role in the share price climbing, but the announcement that the company is rolling out an online tool that allows customers to compare prices on more than 80,000 items that Wal-Mart sells may be the actual reason. The "King of Retail," which is known for its low prices, is now doing the price comparing for its customers in an attempt to bring more buyers to its stores. This could certainly be a big driver in retaining current customers and gaining new ones, if the company truly does have the lowest prices around.
Outside the Dow, shares of Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD) rose 2.08% today. The move comes as the second day of the NCAA basketball tournament rolls on. During the first few days of "The Road to the Final Four," the company sees massive sales as basketball fans head to a place to watch all the games. Today it seems that, while fans head to drink beer and eat wings, investors are trying to cash in on this limited catalyst. While having an investing thesis based on capturing a short-term catalyst is not a terrible idea, making it your sole reason for owning a stock is not a great move. The company has performed wonderfully in the past and, at this time, it looks like the good times will keep rolling; but jumping into the stock when it's blazing hot may lead to diminished returns. Waiting for the madness to die down may suit investors a little better in this case.
Shares of 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) fell 6.07% today as investors deal with the issue of increased competition in the world of 3-D printing. The new entrant is a veteran of the 2-D printing world, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ). On Wednesday, HP announced that it would be entering 3-D printing and believes it can help improve the technology by increasing speed and quality. While at first, HP's plan is to market 3-D printing to business customers, it's not hard to imagine the company making a move into the consumer side of 3-D printing. HP already is a big player with consumer-based printing, and offers a number of products customers are familiar with and trust. As for 3D Systems, the company lacks that household name recognition by the average Joe and could possibly end up being left to die.