After a week like the stock market has had, everybody could use a day off. Following Monday's big rise, we've now seen drops on three straight days, although today's decline was pretty minor by comparison. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) recovered from a steep opening drop to finish down 15 points at 13,060.
Some stocks, though, didn't manage to cut their losses nearly as well as the overall Dow. Let's take a look at a few of them.
Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) , down 1.9%
Alcoa can't seem to catch a break. The company continues to face a big oversupply problem in the aluminum market, and as a result, the company it plans to make further cuts in its Atlantic region, slashing production by about 4%.
As the company reduces refining capacity as well, it may be able to recoup some costs. But longer-term, Alcoa desperately needs extremely low aluminum prices to rebound if it ever wants to see a stronger turnaround.
But one interesting piece of news came from Italy. The Italian government has huge amounts payable to private creditors, and the chair of GE's Italian division was quoted as saying that late payments from the government "are a huge problem." If similar problems crop up throughout Europe, then it could add up to a larger problem for the overall company.
One factor could be concerns about the impact of high gasoline prices. Although high energy prices boost revenue and profits from exploration and production, they can hurt on the marketing and refining side. That's one reason some integrated companies have moved to split up E&P from downstream operations, but so far, neither Chevron nor Exxon looks to be positioning itself to do that. As a result, the Big Oil giants will have to balance their operations to maximize overall profit.
Take a break
Even if your stock took a hit today, you shouldn't lose confidence in its long-term prospects. Support a longer-run mindset by looking at The Motley Fool's latest special report on retirement, which highlights three promising stock picks for retirement investors. Get your free report today before it's gone forever.