Results of Wall Street turbulence mixed for Virginia companies

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by Jessica Sabbath

The Federal Reserve’s unusual rate cut likely saved the U.S. stock market — as well as Virginia stock prices — from plunging.

Virginia stocks of the state’s largest companies followed trends from the U.S. market today — falling slightly after markets opened but recovering by the afternoon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 400 points within minutes of trading beginning, but had made up all but 128 points by the time markets closed.

Although most share prices dropped for Virginia’s companies, by market close half were actually up from yesterday’s closing price. Norfolk Southern’s shares were up 2.08 percent to $45.07 and Gannett closed today up 23 cents to $34.26.

But Dominion Resources’ share price ended down 4.27 percent at $42.35. General Dynamics’ share price was down 2.41 percent to $78.85. Still, both companies rebounded from stock prices that dropped by 5 percent in early trading today.

The Federal Reserve held an unusual emergency meeting this morning to drop the federal funds rate and its discount rate by 0.75 percent. The move was held in anticipation of a U.S. stock market plunge after two days of declines in global equity markets and among current fears of a recession.

Here are the share prices of Virginia stocks at Tuesday’s market close:

Sprint Nextel $8.80, up 10 cents (1.15 percent)
General Dynamics $78.85, down $1.95 (2.41 percent)
Dominion Resources $42.35, down $1.89, (4.27 percent) 
Circuit City Stores $4.55, up 79 cents (21.01 percent)
AES Corp.: $17.68, down 54 cents (2.96 percent)
Smithfield Foods: $25.02, down 1 cent (0.04 percent)
Genworth Financial: $21.54, down 32 cents (1.46 percent) 
Capital One: $39.81, up13 cents (0.33 percent)
Norfolk Southern: $45.07, up 92 cents (2.08 percent)
Gannett: $34.26, up 23 cents (0.68 percent)

Robert Powell and Paula Squires contributed to this report.

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