On another earnings-heavy day for the stock market, the Dow Jones Industrials
On the losing side, Chevron
Boeing had some good news earlier this week, but the aerospace giant looks like it will face some big challenges this year. Despite posting better-than-expected earnings and getting a big aircraft order, the company will have to figure out how to deal with the possibility of lower defense spending.
One thing the company is apparently doing is lobbying hard for more business. The company is among the top-five companies in terms of lobbying expenditures and got named to the US PIRG/Citizens for Tax Justice list of 30 corporations that spent more to lobby Congress than they paid in taxes. Whether that lobbying proves successful remains to be seen, but with a shrinking pie, it'll be hard for Boeing to grab a bigger piece of the overall budget.
Travelers also had some tough news to deal with earlier this week, as it announced earnings that missed estimates. Today's drop was only somewhat bigger than that for the overall Dow, but it reflects uncertainty about financial stocks generally. Until the situation in Europe resolves itself, financials could see pressure.
What Travelers needs is time to heal. Eventually, catastrophe-free quarters should come, and when that happens, Travelers will see the rosier side of the hit-or-miss insurance business. Until then, though, skittish investors in Travelers stock may have to deal with a lot of days like today.
Finally, oil giant ExxonMobil followed in peer Chevron's footsteps with a modest decline. Clearly, these two massive energy companies have a lot in common, and so what affects one is likely to have an impact on the other.
For Exxon, though, its sheer size makes it a target. Just as Chevron has had to deal with legal troubles abroad recently, so too has Exxon had to deal with international intrigue of its own, with billions of dollars in losses tied to the nationalization of its assets in Venezuela. As long as oil prices stay high, though, any drop in Exxon stock should be temporary.
What will Monday bring?
These stocks didn't do so well today, but what about next week? Stay tuned to our earnings season coverage. Also, be sure to check out the Fool's "Fourth-Quarter Earnings Report: 7 Stocks You'll Want to Watch," where you'll find information on this quarter's potentially big performers. It's completely free for our readers, so click here to access your report today.