3 Dow Losers Today

The Greek elections stole the storylines overnight, yet investors expecting a strong market reaction were sorely disappointed. By the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) regained more than 140 points from its intraday low to finish only 0.20% down for the day. Still, a few Dow components experienced a rough-and-tumble trading session, with various new developments weighing on these stocks.

Company Name

Percent Return Today

Year-to-Date Return

Hewlett-Packard (2.73%) (18.28%)
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) (1.77%) 39.57%
Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) (1.47%) 0.46%

As my colleague Eric Bleeker recapped today, the Greek elections resulted in defeat for the anti-bailout coalition and ensured that a worst-case scenario could be avoided in the near term. The eurozone's prospects still appear incredibly shaky, however, and Spanish bond yields climbed even higher today, showing that pessimism prevails for the time being. Pessimism also prevailed for shares of HP, Bank of America, and Alcoa, although the storylines were slightly different.

Nothing new for HP
For HP, today's loss accounted for approximately 31% of the Dow index's overall loss, but like a broken record, we've heard this noise before. Down 18% on the year, the computer maker trails the Dow's return by more than 22% in 2012. Lately, CEO Meg Whitman has seemed determined to reinvent this former tech powerhouse, comparing HP's ambitions with Starbucks' recent turnaround led by founder Howard Schultz. Reviving HP will prove difficult, however, especially given the incredible advancements in the tablet space made by competitor Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) . Likewise, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) seems poised to enter the hardware arena, and today's secret event by the software giant could pose yet another threat to HP's core business.

Rumors at Bank of America, too
Bank of America's shares dropped 1.77% to $7.76 today, and rumor has it the banking giant is looking at options to unload its international wealth-management division. According to CNBC, Julius Baer would purchase the wealth-management operations for somewhere between $1.5 billion and $2 billion. For Bank of America, a sale would mark another step in an ongoing strategy to build capital and shore up its balance sheet.

Alcoa strains with Spain
Alcoa's 1.47% drop today reflects an exaggerated movement by a raw-materials company with significant exposure to market sentiment. The aluminum maker derived 27.6% of sales from Europe in 2011, with Spain representing the largest portion of those sales. Today's gyrations in the Spanish bond market and the looming cloud over this critical European country probably depressed Alcoa's shares as well.

Foolish takeaway
Today's macroeconomic developments will prove critical as Europe tries to resurrect the Greek economy, but Foolish investors should make sure their portfolio can stay afloat regardless of the storm developing overseas. For that reason, the top analysts at The Motley Fool have identified the most impressive Dow stocks with rock-solid dividends in our special free report, "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need." The report's brand new, but only available for a limited time, so download a copy.

Fool contributor Isaac Pino owns no shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Starbucks, Bank of America, Apple, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Starbucks, and Apple, writing covered calls on Starbucks, and creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and Apple. 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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