These Companies Dragged the Dow Lower

The broad markets are in a "wait and see" period as we're now just a few days away from the weekend's Greek election. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) was uncommitted, wavering back and forth before decidedly decreasing to close the day down 0.62%.

The day was absent of momentous news, with May U.S. retail sales making headlines, showing that consumers slowed their purchases as sales declined for the second month in a row. Under Armour (NYSE: UA  ) lost 4.6% of its share price, as investors shied away from the performance-clothing company after the poor data was released this morning.

Laggards
Caterpillar
(NYSE: CAT  ) had an increased sell-off today despite board approval to increase its quarterly cash dividend by 13%. The heavy-equipment manufacturer will remain volatile as eurozone economic woes continue to effect worldwide markets. Caterpillar dropped 2.02% as government borrowing increased in Spain and Italy today.

American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) also depreciated today, as the company said credit card spending hit a speed bump over the past two months, with billing growth 5% less than a year ago. The comments from American Express lowered shares by 2.44%, erasing a small part of its 17% year-to-date increase.

Outside the Dow, A123 Systems (Nasdaq: AONE  ) gave up some of the ground it gained yesterday as research firm Wunderlich Securities wrote that despite the revolutionary battery it released yesterday, the company will still not be able to curb its debt issues, since the technology can't be launched to make up for its shortfalls in the next 18 months.

Takeaway
The midterm eurozone economic picture will begin to take shape this weekend. Tomorrow, OPEC will meet to discuss oil production, and the consensus is that the cartel won't adjust its production level. Barring a surprise announcement, energy prices shouldn't make significant a movement until next Monday, after the Greek election. The international economic picture presents complex problems that can only be treated in small doses, so expect some turbulence for the foreseeable future. With increased instability expected in the market, now is a great time to check out The Motley Fool's special report describing 3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich. This free report will list three remarkable companies as well as offer great advice on how to invest to secure a comfortable retirement -- get your free report now.

Joel South owns shares of no company listed above. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a write covered strangle position in American Express. 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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