These Dow Stocks Couldn't Keep Up Today

A rising stock market continued to reflect the enthusiasm that investors have about the overall economy. Even though the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) finished up just 7 points, closing at 13,239, other parts of the stock market did much better. The small-cap Russell 2000 (INDEX: ^RUT  ) index jumped nearly 1%, and the Nasdaq and S&P also rose, but bond yields continued to climb as some now believe that the decades-long bull market in bonds is in danger of ending.

Some stocks didn't get join in the fun on Monday. Let's take a closer look at three of them.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) , down 2.7%
It would be easy to read something sinister into B of A's performance today. But in reality, it's probably just a break from the stock's huge 2012 run.

Earlier today, B of A shares touched the $10 mark for the first time since last summer before falling back. For the stock to make further progress, it would be ideal for the company to show improvement in dealing with its legacy mortgage issues. Those are the biggest obstacles standing in the way of a full recovery for the bank.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) , down 1.2%
Microsoft is giving up ground on a generally good day for tech stocks. But at least one analyst thinks this is a dip that investors should buy.

Hilliard Lyons stuck by its buy rating on Microsoft, raising its price target to $37 based on its expectation that Windows 8 will help the software giant integrate an ecosystem of its own. Between its Xbox game system, Office software, Bing search, and Windows Phone products, Microsoft has the capacity to build a one-stop experience. Whether it can execute or not remains to be seen … as the lack of interest in the shares today seems to suggest.

United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) , down 1.0%
I didn't see any company-specific news pushing United Technologies down today. But one troubling trend could spell problems for the conglomerate and its defense-related segments going forward.

With Treasury yields on the rise, borrowing costs for the U.S. government could be in line to soar. That would put even more pressure on an already-burdened budget, which could prompt more defense cuts that could eventually hit United Tech and the defense contractors it does business with. Until the government can get its own balance sheet in order, rising rates will remain a threat.

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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 Bank of America and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and 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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  • Report this Comment On March 19, 2012, at 10:01 PM, mwlove wrote:

    The drop in BAC this afternoon was due to false rumors of a secondary offering. Most of the drop was recovered in AH trading. Nothing to see here, folks, keep moving.

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