2 Winners and 2 Losers on the Dow Today

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) is riding a rollercoaster today. It actually looks like a bunch of fun -- unless your capital is at risk.

The index climbed as much as 61 points this morning thanks to a double shot of good news. House prices are still on the rise, and "consumer confidence" is no longer an oxymoron. Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) enjoyed both ends of that double serving and led the Dow with a 2% jump at most.

But the party didn't last long. The Dow took a dive shortly after midday, and it currently trades some 19 points lower for the day.

Industrial-machinery maker Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) single-handedly took 20 points off the Dow, with a big chunk of the loss coming at lunchtime. The company just issued a cautious outlook for fiscal year 2015 -- yes, three years ahead. Some companies really do plan ahead. CEO Doug Oberhelman cited geopolitical and economic risk factors as he cut that long-term earnings outlook by 15%.

Other big moves include a 1.7% drop by Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) , which was hit by a reiterated "sell" rating from JPMorgan. "We recommend that investors avoid printing stocks [like] Hewlett-Packard," said the firm's research report. Meanwhile, General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) gained 1.1% on regulatory approval for a uranium enrichment plant in North Carolina, plus some progress in the company's sale of $7 billion in MetLife deposits.

Watching the broad market each day may be as exciting as a rollercoaster ride, but investing doesn't have to be that crazy. If you're in the mood to pick up some solid buys for the long term, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report from our expert analysts called "2 Dirt Cheap Stocks With Huge Dividends." It won't be available forever, so click here -- it's free.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies mentioned. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of The Home Depot. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, 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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