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    Posted: Jan 16 2016 at 6:27am

Posted: 6:07 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

Stock plunge sends AK Steel shares to new low

By Chelsey Levingston

Staff Writer


The stock price of Butler County steelmaker AK Steel Holding Corp. reached a new year-long low during trading Friday of $1.81 a share, before closing the day at $1.88.

It’s the first time so far in 2016 the locally-based manufacturer ended the day below $2 per share of common stock, during which time the last two weeks have been the worst start to a new year for the stock market ever.

West Chester Twp.-based AK Steel’s stock price dropped over 8 percent Friday from Thursday’s close.

Even though AK Steel faces major headwinds from foreign competitors and what company officials call a flood of unfairly traded steel imports, low oil prices were a major factor in the overall stock market’s decline Friday.

The three major stock indexes all lost value Friday, according to The Associated Press: The Dow Jones industrial average slid 390.90 points, or 2.4 percent; Standard & Poor’s 500 index ended down 44.84 points, or 2.3 percent; and Nasdaq dropped 126.59 points, or 2.7 percent.

The Dow and S&P 500 have now fallen about 8 percent this year, while the Nasdaq is off about 10 percent.

“Oil is the root cause of today,” said Dan Farley, regional investment strategist at the Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank, told Associated Press. “People are uncertain, and when they’re uncertain they’re scared.”

In addition to the West Chester headquarters, AK Steel operates a steel plant in Middletown and is one of the regions largest employers of over 2,000 people in Butler County.

Here’s where share prices ended up for other locally-traded stocks after Friday’s closing bell, when compared to the previous closing price:

·                       AK Steel Holding Corp., West Chester Twp.: -8.29% to $1.88

·                       AtriCure Inc., Mason: -2.67% to $18.25

·                       Cincinnati Financial Corp., Fairfield: -1.90% to $55.12

·                       Cintas Corp., Mason: -1.77% to $84.03

·                       First Financial Bancorp, Cincinnati: -less than 1% to $16.97

·                       Fifth Third Bancorp, Cincinnati: -3% to $17.12

·                       Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., Sandusky: -2.49% to $50.82

·                       General Electric Co., Connecticut (major regional operations): -1.96% to $28.49

·                       The Kroger Co., Cincinnati: -1.38% to $38.49

·                       LCNB Corp., Lebanon: -1.85% to $15.88

·                       The Procter & Gamble Co., Cincinnati: -1.54% to $74.98

·                       Park National Corp., Newark: -1.25% to $83.62

·                       Rex American Resources Corp., Dayton: -less than 1% to $47.52

·                       Teradata Corp., Miami Twp.: -less than 1% to $22.96



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