Why the Dow's Zigzagging Lower Today

The stock market proved today just how volatile it can be, with a good start related to progress in Europe in resolving the Greek sovereign debt crisis then giving way to concerns about the U.S. economy. In particular, home prices fell in 19 of 20 major city markets, and consumer confidence dropped unexpectedly. Just after 2 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) were down 59 points to 12,595, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) fell four points to 1,309.

Earlier today, Fool analyst David Williamson covered earnings news from ExxonMobil and Pfizer, which sent both stocks lower. But other Dow stocks were also noteworthy.

American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) bucked the downtrend, climbing 1.5% in early afternoon trade. The company led the entire Dow financial sector higher, as stability in Europe is arguably more important at least in the short run than the mixed economic news that has been so prevalent recently.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) lost about 1%. The leading bricks-and-mortar retailer is in the spotlight as Amazon.com announces earnings after the market close this afternoon. With online retail gaining in popularity, long-term investors are concerned that Amazon could continue to poach business away from Wal-Mart and other big-box retailers -- despite Wal-Mart's increasing presence online with its own website.

Finally, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) also dropped just over 1%. As Intel begins to push into the mobile chip market, the company's rivalry with ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH  ) will inevitably heat up. Already, ARM has started to push into the PC market in response, to go up against Intel on its home turf.

Don't just focus on headlines during this earnings season. In the Fool's "Fourth-Quarter Earnings Report: 7 Stocks You'll Want to Watch," you'll find hard-hitting analysis and information on this quarter's possible big performers. It's completely free for our readers, so click here to access your free report today.

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 Amazon.com, Intel, and Wal-Mart. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Amazon.com, Intel, and Wal-Mart, as well as write a covered strangle position in American Express and creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart. 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.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1769819, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/2/2014 12:43:10 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement