Why the Dow's Heading South Today

After a late-day sell-off yesterday, the stock market continued downward today as some bad economic news weighed on investor sentiment. Durable goods orders rose less than expected last month, lending credibility to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments earlier this week that the economy wasn't out of the woods just yet. Moreover, worries about Spain having to restructure its debt reawakened the European sovereign debt crisis. As of around 1:45 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) were down 92 points to 13,105, while the S&P 500 was down 12 points to 1,400.

Among Dow stocks, Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) fell 1.5% after the main Brazilian oil union sued to have its operations, along with those of Transocean (NYSE: RIG  ) , suspended in response to last November's oil spill off Brazil's coast. A $2-per-barrel drop in oil prices also didn't help the energy complex.

Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT  ) fell slightly as the initial public offering of mac-and-cheese rival Annie's exploded out of the gate today. Annie's shares rose fully 70% from their $19 offering price as investors piled in on the organic and natural food producer. Still, Kraft clearly dominates the tiny company, and its coming reorganization could help Kraft push more strongly into North American grocery store shelves.

Finally, Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) shares were down 0.4%. The company said that it would move up its "Spring Black Friday" sales event to later this week, with a simultaneous rollout around the country. Usually, the company would stagger the events to reflect seasonal variation, but with warm weather even in the northern parts of the country, the all-at-once strategy made sense this year.

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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 Transocean. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Home Depot and Chevron. 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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