Why the World Is Beating the Dow Today

U.S. investors had a lot at stake in today's decision from the Supreme Court that largely upheld the constitutionality of health-care reform laws. But even though the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) fell sharply after the Supreme Court's announcement, the rest of the world largely shrugged off the announcement. The Global Dow (INDEX: ^GDOW  ) index was down only about half as much on a percentage basis as the Dow, despite having a substantial U.S. contingent among its components.

As Fool analyst Eric Bleeker described in far more detail earlier today, European stocks are currently held hostage to a different set of expected announcements. This week's meeting of European leaders could be crucial in determining the path that the eurozone takes in dealing with the increasingly severe debt problems that have gradually spread across the Continent. Most European stock markets rebounded from their lows late in the day and finished with smaller losses than the Dow's current drop, with the exception of Germany's DAX (INDEX: ^GDAXI  ) . Given Germany's key role in any resolution, investors may want to focus more on its stock market for clues about the future.

Meanwhile, emerging markets have struggled lately, and that trend largely continued today. Fallout from the drop in their massive economic growth rates has scared investors into fleeing emerging markets. India bucked the downtrend with a 0.1% gain, but the Shanghai Composite (INDEX: ^SSEC  ) in China fell almost 1% as slowdown in manufacturing there continues. Russian stocks actually had a bigger decline than the Dow. Brazil's markets are still open, but the Bovespa (INDEX: ^BVSP  ) was down 0.8% after unveiling its own economic stimulus measures earlier this week. To get investor attention again, emerging market nations need to demonstrate that they'll be able to keep growing at a still-substantial, if somewhat slower, pace.

See the world
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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. 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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