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The Dow Jones industrial average plunged more than 800 points Wednesday as part of a broad sell-off, but two Louisville-based companies, manufacturer Sypris Solutions and Republic Bancorp posted slight gains.

The Dow dipped briefly below 26,000 in morning trading before recovering slightly and then falling again. Shortly after 3:37 p.m., the index was at 25,794, down 637 points, or 2.4 percent, but it fell again sharply before trading ended. The index closed at 25,598, down 832 points, or 3.15 percent. The broader S&P 500 shed 3.3 percent, while the Nasdaq lost 4.1 percent.

MarketWatch blamed higher bond yields and interest rates.

“A rise in yields equates to steeper borrowing costs for corporations and investors, and has caused a reassessment of equity valuations, already deemed lofty by some measures,” MarketWatch said. “On top of that, richer rates of so-called risk-free bonds can attract investors away from equities, which are perceived as comparatively riskier.”

Shares of many Louisville-based companies suffered declines on Wednesday as well: Brown-Forman’s shares were down 5.8 percent, while Churchill Downs lost 2.2 percent.

Papa John’s shares fell 1.6 percent on news that an analyst predicted the company probably would be bought out next year. The pizza chain’s stock price had spiked nearly 9 percent Tuesday after The Wall Street Journal reported on a possible takeover bid by Trian Fund Management.

However, some local stocks bucked Wednesday’s overall downward trend.

Around 1 p.m., Humana shares traded at $334.54, up 0.4 percent as rival and former would-be merger partner Aetna’s shares had posted a 1.3 percent gain on news that it had reached an agreement with federal antitrust officials that paves the way for its acquisition by CVS Health. Aetna said in Securities and Exchange Commission filings that the U.S. Department of Justice would allow it to be acquired by CVS so long as Aetna sells its stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans.

Humana’s shares fell in the afternoon, closing at $328.80, down 1.9 percent.

Shares of Louisville-based Republic Bancorp closed at $45.59, up less than 0.1 percent, while Sypris Solutions rose 1.45 percent. Limestone Bancorp, at $15.70, was unchanged, as was CafePress, at $1.46.

Two of Louisville’s largest employers also did not fare well Wednesday. Ford’s shares declined 1.5 percent, trading for $8.82 when markets closed, and UPS saw its stock price fall 1.1  percent, closing at $116.65.

Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.


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