After spending a week or so obsessing over what the Federal Reserve would do to try to help the economy recover more quickly, investors have returned their attention to Europe. Today, though, the news was good: the Spanish government did a better job of trying to rein in spending in an austerity budget than most people had expected. Signs that Europe may actually have the political will to make tough, unpopular cuts gave investors hope that the eurozone may survive the financial crisis there, and that hope helped push the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) up more than 70 points, to break its four-day losing streak.
But, even with the market bouncing back, some Dow stocks got left behind. AT&T (NYSE: T ) fell about a quarter percent, as the company continues to navigate the ongoing release of the iPhone 5. A report from Deloitte today noted that shortages of wireless spectrum, which have driven big deals in the telecom industry involving both AT&T and Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) , make spectrum sharing arrangements seem like an inevitable compromise, but that the government needs to encourage research and development to make sharing feasible without sacrificing quality.
United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) also lost a quarter percent, after the conglomerate cut back on its forecasts for economic growth in the economies it serves. Despite expecting growth in earnings next year, and reaffirming full-year 2012 earnings forecasts, it noted several unpredictable issues that could hamper performance next year, including currency fluctuations, input costs, and overall health in construction activity.
Finally, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) fell about 0.3%. The retail giant has traditionally fared well against competitors aiming at higher price points, but a BB&T Capital analyst thinks that deep-discount dollar stores could once again attack Wal-Mart from below. During the 2008 recession, dollar stores did very well, and a repeat of the same economic conditions could once again lead to Wal-Mart having to fight on two fronts.
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