Why the Dow Cooled Off This Morning

Last week, the Dow swung more than 100 points four out of the five trading days. But with no big economic reports scheduled to be released today, the numbers looked a lot more tame this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) slipped 0.16% as of 11:30 a.m., while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) dropped 0.3%.

But the quiet overall day still gave investors plenty to track, especially in gauging the market's future direction. U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner meets with European Central Bank President Mario Draghi today to discuss the European crisis, and the Federal Reserve will meet to debate further stimulus measures. Earnings continued to drive the overall markets, but sector developments and analyst projections drove most of the Dow components today.

AT&T (NYSE: T  ) led the telecom industry upward with a 0.78% gain. Analyst projections for cell phone tower operator American Tower now sit at 38% year-over-year growth ahead of its earnings release Wednesday morning. The growth in that area would indicate signs of vitality in the entire telecom process, as giants like AT&T spend more money to upgrade to 4G LTE. AT&T also announced the arrival of a new phone, the Pantech Renue, now available in stores for $69.99.

Meanwhile, United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) added 0.98% on the heels of last week's news. The company beat earnings estimates by $0.16 with an EPS of $1.58, showing the ability to cut costs to adjust for a 4.6% drop in revenue. But more importantly, the company also closed its Goodrich acquisition that same day. United Tech will sell some peripheral businesses to finance the $16.5 billion purchase, which it expects will add $8 billion in annual revenue.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) lagged behind the Dow this morning, sinking 1.79% after Deutsche Bank downgraded the company to a hold. Deutsche analyst Matt O'Connor raised concerns about overly optimistic EPS estimates and uncertainty in the financial industry. This reiterated some of the worries that have helped sink the banking giant over 10% since it announced its huge trading loss.

On a quieter day like today, it can help to take a step back and look at the larger picture. Stocks don't usually win or lose in just one day, but steady growth and a solid dividend can make a big difference over time. The Motley Fool's free report, "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need," identifies the companies you need to elevate your portfolio. It's completely free, so get your copy today.

Fool intern Will Chavey owns no shares of the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of American Tower. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
We Fools may not 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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