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The stock market held up well today despite some lackluster economic news. In Europe, the euro gained substantially against the dollar, despite inflation fears in the U.S. that could eventually prompt the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates earlier than many had expected. Meanwhile, oil was up, but gold finished slightly lower. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) finished down 20 points to 13,233, breaking its seven-day winning streak.
Some stocks had worse performances than the Dow's overall loss today. Let's look at three of the Dow components that lost ground today.
United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) , down 1.7%
Conglomerate United Technologies didn't have much company-specific news today. One small item came from Canada, where the defense ministry said it might delay purchases of Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet as a cost-management move. United Technologies produces engines for the F-35, so news on the fighter jet has an impact on it as well.
Even with the drop, the stock still finished up more than 2% on the week. The main long-term consideration for United Technologies continues to be the aerospace industry, and high demand there looks like it should be a growth driver going forward.
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , down 0.8%
On iPad launch day, no one's paying much attention to rival Microsoft. But the company faces a big challenge in its upcoming release of Windows 8, as it tries to unify both PC and mobile users with a consistent operating-system experience.
Meanwhile, the company is seeing competition flare up in other areas. Amazon said it would keep cutting prices on its EC2 cloud service, pitting it against Microsoft's Azure service. Yet the biggest gap in Microsoft's playbook is its lack of smartphone presence, something that it's working on strongly. If it can catch up to the far more popular iOS and Android devices, Microsoft could get back on a growth path.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) , down 0.3%
With Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) rising strongly today, it's surprising to see JPMorgan Chase down. Momentum from favorable stress-test results, a coming higher dividend, and a steepening yield curve seem like they should push JPMorgan Chase higher. A successful stress test and the prospect of higher interest margins seem to be doing the trick for B of A.
Even with today's slight drop, JPMorgan Chase's stock is up well over 10% since early last week, which arguably fully prices in all the good news the bank has seen in recent days. If these favorable conditions persist, they should keep JPMorgan Chase moving upward over the long haul.
Will next week be better?
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