Why the Dow's Dropping Today

Worries about a potential snag in a deal to get the Greek debt situation under control, as well as uncertainty about tonight's State of the Union address and some mixed earnings news, combined to send stocks mostly lower today. Just before 2:15 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) were down 44 points to 12,665, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) lost three points to 1,313.

As Fool analyst Dan Dzombak covered this morning, earnings played a major role in the Dow's decline. Let's turn to some other stocks making moves.

The tech contingent of the Dow saw mixed performance. IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) rose about 1% in mid-afternoon trading. The company, which announced positive results last week, seems on pace to reach its target of $20 per share in annual earnings by 2015. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) also rose by nearly 1%, setting another four-year high for the stock as signs continue point to a turnaround in the chip sector.

But Microsoft bucked the trend, falling more than 1% after it decided to pull the plug on its annual MIX developers conference. Speculation also arose that the company may phase out its Points system for Xbox Live.

Elsewhere, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) lost about 1%. The company is expected to raise its dividend next month, and if it does, it would mark the 50th consecutive year that Coca-Cola has done an annual dividend increase. The company also announced a bottling agreement with the Rwandan unit of Heineken.

Don't let your portfolio drop just because the Dow's down. Expand your reach by learning about three smart stocks for the long run. You'll find them in the Motley Fool's latest special report, which you can get simply by clicking here -- but don't wait: do it now before it's gone.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, IBM, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Coca-Cola, Heineken, Intel, and Microsoft, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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