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In a troubled world, concerns abound. The growth engine of the world, China, is having substantial trouble keeping its economy expanding, and its weak stock-market performance shows that its challenges aren't going away anytime soon. Other emerging markets face similar obstacles to sustained growth, while Europe still hasn't resolved its problems. Even the U.S. economy shows mixed signs, with some positive readings on the housing market offset by fears about the looming fiscal cliff. Add all that up, and you'll understand why the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) suffered a triple-digit loss, and just barely managed to hold above the 13,000 level.
A few stocks were particularly to blame for the drop. Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) fell nearly 2%, as the stock has been at the epicenter of economic news in both directions recently. Yet, Fool analyst Austin Smith notes that the recent drop in Caterpillar's stock has left the industrial giant fairly priced and, unless you think the global growth story is coming to a longer-term end, then Caterpillar offers an attractive buying opportunity right now.
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) lost 1.6%, even as the semiconductor giant prepares to unveil a phone featuring Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG ) Android operating system and an Intel-manufactured Medfield Atom chip. As Fool contributor and tech specialist Evan Niu notes, Intel isn't making big steps forward with the release, but incremental moves should help it catch up eventually in the mobile space.
Finally, Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO ) dropped about 1.5%. In Fool tech analyst Andrew Tonner's look at the stock today, he focused on the company's decision to lower prices in a way to win business back from some of its competitors. With the stock having risen almost 20% this month, a bit of a pullback isn't much for shareholders to get concerned about.
What a drag!
You can't expect the Dow to move up every day, but many of its components have a lot of promise. Caterpillar, in particular, looks poised to prosper, as soon as the world economy finds some stability. Get all the details in the Fool's premium report on Caterpillar, which includes free updates for a full year. Try it out today.