3 Stocks Slowing the Dow's Climb

On the day the much-anticipated iPhone 5 goes on sale, the Dow Jones Industry Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) is looking to end the week higher. Last Friday the market closed at 13,593, and as of 12:30 p.m. EDT the Dow is at 13,627, up 0.22%, or 30.1 points. The Dow's 30 components are split today, with 12 trading lower and 18 up on the afternoon. Three companies that are currently down are Microsoft  (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) , Hewlett-Packard  (NYSE: HPQ  ) , and JPMorgan Chase  (NYSE: JPM  ) .

So why are they down?
It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that on the day Apple  (Nasdaq: AAPL  )  starts selling its newest iPhone, smartphone competitor Microsoft is taking a slight haircut of 0.54%. As of August, Microsoft's Windows Phone had 5.4% market share. While that number had grown from 2.3% a year earlier, investors may be worried that the new iPhone will add pressure and reduce Windows Phone growth. Research in Motion's Blackberry brand has seen its market share decline from 11.5% a year ago to a current 7.4%. That number could continue to decline in the future with customer dissatisfaction over recent products, leaving room for Microsoft to gain ground without Apple relinquishing control.

If you feel like Hewlett-Packard is constantly one of the Dow stocks moving lower...well, that's because it is. HP is down 1.55% for the day and 31.79% year to date. It's nearly five times lower than any other Dow component over the same time frame, and things just keep getting worse for the PC maker. Yesterday afternoon, a report was released by the U.S. Senate which claimed that Hewlett-Packard keeps 100% of its cash overseas to avoid taxes. While Microsoft was also named in the report, HP seems to be taking more heat in the situation.

Since the financial crisis, government agencies and politicians have been consistently pushing for more regulation in the banking sector. The latest proposed law, which is intended to help control money laundering, has bankers fighting the requirements already. The U.S. Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network could mandate financial institutions to dig deeper into clients' personal information before opening accounts. The Treasury wants banks to understand who owns, controls, and even has access to accounts. It also would require that a detailed record pertaining to each account be kept. Furthermore, these documents would need to be made available to law enforcement officials when requested. The financial institutions these laws would affect are fighting back and citing massive costs and slower transaction times as reasons to deter the law.  JPMorgan is lower by 0.99% today. 

Foolishly thinking
Microsoft investors should not get caught up in the iPhone hype today -- or for the next few weeks. Smartphones are still a small portion of the software giant's business. Also, while the company is under review of the U.S. Senate, if wrongdoing is found, it will affect not only Microsoft, but all companies with money stashed outside our borders -- Apple included. As for HP, things just keep getting worse. The stock price has been beaten down this year, and I would expect that trend to continue for the next few months. The lows keep getting lower. Finally, all the banks are facing new risks every day, but our analysts call one financial institution "The Only Big Bank Built to Last." Find out who it is today -- just click here

Fool Contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, and Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic covered call position in Microsoft. 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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