3 Dow Stocks That Fell on a Flat Day

Two key achievements -- the reaching of a deal for Greece to implement austerity measures and the settlement of long-standing allegations against major mortgage lenders -- may not have received favorable marks from everyone involved, but apparently, the stock market was pleased enough with the outcomes to rise modestly. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) finished the day up 7 points to 12,890.

But even though the Dow rose, some stocks weren't so lucky. Let's take a look at three Dow stocks whose shares fell on Thursday.

Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) , down 2.1%
When Cisco first announced its quarterly results last night, shares initially rose in after-hours trading. That seemed to make sense, as the company announced sales up 11% and solid earnings growth of 43%. But then two different analysts downgraded the stock on concerns about whether the company is really on track to regain its once-invulnerable status.

As fellow Fool contributor Rich Smith noted today in his article on the downgrades, the problem Cisco faces is that its stock has already risen sharply enough that investors expect a lot from the company. Even with positive results, shares could be under pressure until Cisco's business catches up with its stock price.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) , down 1.2%
The news for HP isn't so much about HP as it is about the competition. Rival Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL  ) agreed to buy out cloud-based HR software maker Taleo for $1.9 billion. The move follows an earlier takeover bid of fellow HR player SuccessFactors by SAP.

HP's relationship with the cloud isn't as extensive as Oracle's, but the two companies have often tried to one-up each other in the past. Investors may be responding negatively to the fact that HP appears to be missing out in the consolidation of the cloud-computing industry.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) , down 1.2%
For JPMorgan, the big news of the day came when 49 state governments agreed to a settlement with major mortgage lenders amounting to more than $25 billion. Under the plan, homeowners with mortgages for more than their homes are worth will get principal writedowns, while those who've already been foreclosed upon will get payouts of roughly $2,000 each. Some of the money will go toward providing refinancing at currently lower interest rates.

Sure, $25 billion is a lot of money, so it's reasonable for the stock to be falling slightly today. But the good news for JPMorgan and other banks is that this should streamline its efforts to clean up bad loans going forward. In the end, JPMorgan could see this as a turning point in getting itself back on track and through the aftermath of the mortgage mess.

What will tomorrow bring?
These stocks did poorly today, but tomorrow is another day. If you invest for the long haul, the Motley Fool's latest special report has what you want, with the names of three stocks that you can ride to riches. The report is free -- but don't wait: Click here and read it today.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger likes watching stocks get cheaper -- except when he already owns them. You can follow him on Twitter here. He doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, Oracle, and Cisco Systems. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Cisco Systems. 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's disclosure policy is always a winner.


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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.

  • Report this Comment On February 09, 2012, at 8:58 PM, BradReeseCom wrote:

    Hi Dan,

    Cisco's Q2'FY12 switching, routing, collaboration revenues and product gross margin sequentially declined:

    Cisco's very important Q2'FY12 switching and collaboration revenues both sequentially declined over the previous 2 quarters, Q1'FY12 and Q4'FY11.

    Additionally, Cisco's important Q2'FY12 router revenue sequentially declined from Q1'FY12.

    Finally, Cisco's Q2'FY12 product gross margin sequentially declined.

    http://www.bradreese.com/blog/2-9-2012.htm

    Sincerely,

    Brad Reese

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