I am a shorterm swing trader. I bought GAP(Great Atlantic Pacific) two days ago. They are issuing a $7.25 dividend on Apr 25 to shareholders of record on Apr 17. Yahoo has the ex-div date as Apr 12(today). Today the stock dropped about $7.25 dollars yet Yahoo and CNN Money show the stock as being positive today, obviously taking the $7.25 into account. My questions: Why did it drop today and not Apr 17(shareholder of record date)? Do I have to hold until Apr 17th in order to collect the dividend? If I sold tomorrow morning, do I lose the dividend?