After Market: Obama Talks Tough on Crimea, and Investors Shiver

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Stocks turned lower Wednesday after President Obama took a harder line against Russia. The president called for more sanctions against Russia in the wake of its invasion and annexation of Crimea, which raised fresh geopolitical concerns on Wall Street.
BELGIUM-US-NATO-DIPLOMACY
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty ImagesIn a speech at the European Union headquarters in Brussels Wednesday, President Barack Obama said Russia stood alone on the Ukraine crisis, cementing Western opposition to its takeover of Crimea.
The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) gave up strong early gains to end down 99 points (0.6 percent), and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 13 points (0.7 percent). But the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) was the big loser, dropping 60 points (1.4 percent).

Facebook (FB) slid 7 percent after revealing it was paying $2 billion to buy Oculus, a virtual-reality headset maker. It's the company's second big acquisition this year.

Other big name Nasdaq stocks dragging the index lower: Twitter (TWTR), down 7 percent; Tesla (TSLA), down 3 percent; and Microsoft (MSFT), down more than 1 percent. Twitter, after a big run-up last year, is now down 36 percent over the past three months.

Panera Bread (PNRA) lost 7 percent on worries about earnings and a brokerage downgrade.

At the NYSE, the big story was the IPO of King Digital (KING), maker of the hugely popular game "Candy Crush." The stock –- you guessed it -- got crushed, falling 15 percent below its $22.50 a share offering price. Investors are concerned that King is a one-trick pony, and the company may never hit it big again after "Candy Crush" inevitably fades.

On the plus side, health care stocks rallied as House Republicans proposed a bill to avoid the planned cut in payments to Medicare providers. Quest Diagnostics (DGX) and Tenet Healthcare (THC) rose 5½ percent. Lab Corp (LH) gained 4 percent.

And Dish Network (DISH) rallied 8 percent on a Bloomberg report that it has approached rival DirecTV (DTV) about a merger. DirecTV gained 6 percent. The retailer Five Below (FIVE) gained 11 percent as earnings topped expectations. But International Game Technology (IGT) fell 8 percent after cutting its guidance.

Finally, a pair of small drug companies got clobbered. Insmed (INSM) fell 14 percent. The only drug it makes failed to meet targets for treating lung infections.

And Exelixis (EXEL) tumbled 39 percent on disappointing results from a trial of its prostate cancer drug.

What to Watch Thursday:
  • The Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims, and the Commerce Department releases final data on fourth-quarter gross domestic product -- both at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time.
  • At 10 a.m., Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates, and the National Association of Realtors releases pending home sales for February.
These notable companies are scheduled to release quarterly financial statements:
  • Accenture (ACN)
  • GameStop (GME)
  • Lululemon Athletica (LULU)
  • Re/Max Holdings (RMAX)
  • Restoration Hardware (RH)
  • Winnebago (WGO)
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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35 Comments

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trusgold

demsbait you are a bigot and scm. your problem is you are t damn dumb to argue issues and olices and nturally the tea party is for as very law anx theyb throw you under the bus, you are just too damn dumb to vote

March 28 2014 at 2:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rayser711

Sooner or later he's going to piss off the wrong person or group..........

March 27 2014 at 2:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
anthdif

You sure the market slide is because Obama is viewed as the weak link in the chain? Just saying.

March 27 2014 at 1:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
thomashollman19

THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK

March 26 2014 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
john7736

Why Crimea should be a part of The Ukraine against the will of its population has not been explained by Obama or anyone else. We must assume he knows that the Crimea has historically been Russian.

March 26 2014 at 11:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jwm347

There are still people in this country,,,and you know who they are, that think this clown is a great president. Unbelievable

March 26 2014 at 11:04 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
jwmgrand

Today was reality check 101 ... you witnessed the hype on the Morning Bell with the IPO ... KING ..getting ready to open and all the happy faces and clapping and all the people that dove into savings and other instruments ... to get in on the ground floor of this IPO ... they all wanted to light this candle .. and let it ride .. maybe a 45 point gain , maybe a 30 point gain . maybe just a 15 point IPO normal upside IPO gain ....instead it turned into Psycho ( the shower scene ) getting cut to ribbons ...... the happy faces rapidly turned into sad, broken, bewildered , nervous and worried .. faces ... Truely CNBC ... showed today what happens to people that follow the bread crumbs ... some of them fall of cliffs ...... As I have said before ... We are way oversold and even IPOs that are golden ...... can have the shirt ripped off them in minutes ...

March 26 2014 at 11:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bcarstew

LOL. Obama, TOUGH? What a LAUGH! LMAO!!!

March 26 2014 at 10:22 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
k4jlp

Humans have learned NOTHING through history. What a shame.....love the "investors shiver" part, what a joke....like it really matters to the average American, and yes I have a 401K and no I will not depend on it being there.

March 26 2014 at 10:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jcbstz

Investors shiver----> Oh please. You kinda went off the deep end with this one.

March 26 2014 at 9:01 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply