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These Stocks Dragged the Dow Down Today

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This morning, it looked as though the stock market would fly high and set some new multi-year records, as the broad market benchmarks advanced sharply. But, by early afternoon, stocks had lost their luster, and the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) ended up dropping about half a percent. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 posted somewhat more modest losses.

Leading the Dow down were three stocks in very different industries. Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) fell about 1.8%. Although cheaper competitor MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS  ) came out with an unlimited 4G data plan, the bigger issue that the telecom giant faces is how to deal with the upcoming release of the iPhone 5. On one hand, big subsidies could actually hurt its bottom line, but the company clearly doesn't want to lock itself out of what will inevitably be a blockbuster smartphone release.

Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) dropped about 1.6%. The multimedia powerhouse said it would move its late-night Jimmy Kimmel Live show up to go head-to-head against David Letterman's and Jay Leno's shows. Despite the move, television viewership has generally hit a period of doldrums in the aftermath of the Olympics. Fortunately for Disney, though, its movie studio and other properties are still in a strong position to pick up the slack, and carry the company forward.

Finally, Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) lost about 1.8%, more than reversing its gains from yesterday. Despite no obvious news justifying the move, the stock carries a lot of uncertainty, as the company tries to figure out how to respond to the ongoing challenge of replacing blockbuster drugs after their patents expire.

The pause that refreshes?
Sometimes, it takes a few tries at a new record before stocks can finally break through. In the long run, though, all these efforts pale in comparison to the monumental gains from holding top stocks over the decades. Get some great ideas from the Motley Fool's special report on the Dow, where you'll learn which three Dow stocks belong in your portfolio. The report is absolutely free, so just click here and get your copy today.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney. 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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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,232.02 -53.72 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,126.06 -4.76 -0.22%
NASD 5,089.36 -1.43 -0.03%

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Related Tickers

5/22/2015 4:32 PM
^DJI $18232.02 Down -53.72 -0.29%
DOW JONES INDUSTRI… CAPS Rating: No stars
DIS $110.26 Down -0.13 -0.12%
Walt Disney CAPS Rating: *****
MRK $59.38 Down -0.72 -1.20%
Merck & Co., Inc. CAPS Rating: ****
TMUS $36.68 Up +0.43 +1.19%
T-Mobile US CAPS Rating: ***
VZ $49.61 Down -0.29 -0.58%
Verizon Communicat… CAPS Rating: ****

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