Why the Dow Finished Flat

After climbing higher most of the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) closed slightly down, losing 30 points, or 0.23%. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 both posted small gains for the day.

Investors seemed to be unfazed by elections in Europe over the weekend, though the expected results could have already been priced. France voted in Socialist candidate Francois Hollande, who has promised to fight against the austerity medicine prescribed by Germany, and instead push for economic growth through stimulus. Greek voters, meanwhile, rebuked their two leading parties, but the party that won the most votes in the election, New Democracy, has already announced it was unable to form a coalition. Two parties now have a shot at doing so; otherwise, new elections will take place soon. The instability casts doubt on Greece's future, in particular $4.3 billion in refinancing dependent on the government's cutting $15 billion from its budget in June.

Turning to Dow components, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) was the big winner on the day, gaining nearly 3% as bank stocks outperformed the market. Comments from Warren Buffett over the weekend about the strength of American banks compared with their European counterparts may have helped, as Buffett owns preferred shares in Bank of America. Shares of Wells Fargo also went up nearly 1.5%.

Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) was a solid gainer as well, moving up more than 2%. Its recent box-office release, The Avengers, set a record for opening-day weekend sales, drawing over $200 million in receipts. We'll learn more about Disney's fortunes when the media giant reports earnings tomorrow. Analysts are expecting a profit $0.55 per share on $9.56 billion in revenue.

Also of note, at a wireless conference in New Orleans, AT&T (NYSE: T  ) announced plans to enter the home security market. The service, known as "Digital Life," will use the telecom's wireless network to allow users to operate any number of devices from outside the home, including cameras, locks, lights, and thermostats. Trials are planned this summer in Atlanta and Dallas, and the company believes the new service could bring in $1 billion a year in revenue. Shares of Ma Bell rose slightly, up 0.43%.

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Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman holds no positions in the companies in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Walt Disney. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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