The Dow's Starting Another Week on the Wrong Foot

Sometimes, a weekend is just the ticket for a struggling stock market to get its confidence back. But that clearly didn't happen this weekend, as stocks got off to a terrible start on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) quickly dropped 1% out of the gate, with most reports once again blaming Europe for the market's woes. Until somebody finds a Grecian formula to take the gray out of the ailing nation's troublesome budget imbalances and sovereign debt woes, investors will stay worried.

For the first time in a few days, the Dow didn't have any big 10% movers among its components. But plenty of stocks showed significant losses that pulled the average down. General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) fell after news that a jury convicted three former workers at a GE subsidiary of conspiracy to commit fraud. The charges alleged paying kickbacks to brokers working on behalf of local governments in exchange for bids that would help the ex-workers manipulate muni-bond auctions. For its part, GE paid a $70 million settlement last December in connection with the related federal investigation.

JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM  ) was down again after announcing that Ina Drew, its chief investment officer, would retire. The bank's $2 billion trading loss has led to calls for CEO Jamie Dimon's resignation, but the buck may well end up stopping at Drew's desk.

Finally, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) also joined the list of big Dow losers. Fears about global economic prospects have pulled the stock down around 20% from its highs earlier this year, and with the huge drop in precious metals over the past couple of weeks, some may believe its mining equipment business could come under strain as well.

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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 JPMorgan Chase. 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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