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The markets got off to a great start of the fourth quarter today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) surging this afternoon by more than 150 points. But at the close of the day, the index settled up only 77 points, or 0.58%, at 13,515. During the early hours of the trading day, only one stock was lower, but by the closing bell, four Dow components were in the red.
So who are they?
The only stock lower for nearly the whole day was Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) . Big Softy traded up at the opening bell but within minutes slid into the red and remained there for the rest of the day. The slide can be contributed to a report that blames Intel as the cause of delays for its new Windows 8-based tablet computers. Microsoft led all Dow laggards, closing at $29.49, down 0.91%.
Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) was the second worst performing Dow component today, ending the session down by more than 0.66%. The company announced that it will shut down some operations at a plant in Decatur, Ill., for one week in November and all of December. The plant manufactures large trucks, and it is currently unknown how many employees will be affected.
Disney (NYSE: DIS ) fell 0.4% today. The rerelease of Finding Nemo 3-D brought in just $4 million this weekend. This came as Sony's animated film Hotel Transylvania set a record for a September opening in the U.S. and Canadian theaters, bringing in more than $42 million on its opening weekend. Sony's success may be an indication that Disney subsidiary Pixar isn't the only animated filmmaker that can produce a blockbuster.
Finally, Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO ) ended the day lower by 0.29%. There was essentially no negative news pertaining to the company today, but the move lower could be delayed reactions to last week's news. First, the ThinkSmart acquisition could now be view as a poorly timed purchase now that smartphones have the ability to act like Wi-Fi hotspots. The demand for businesses to analyze their Wi-Fi locations or even have hotspots may soon disappear. Furthermore, last week the company announced that CEO John Chambers and the board have begun considering possible successors. Even the idea that of a change in top management is somewhat concerning to shareholders who have seen Chambers at the helm for 17 years.
If you were holding shares of one or maybe even all of the four companies that closed lower on a day when the Dow ran up more than 77 points, don't feel discouraged. The market by nature is a rollercoaster ride -- some days up, some days down. All four companies are great investments for the long run, and today should not turn your opinion negative by any means. They also all will be facing a number of opportunities and risks down the road. To find out what Caterpillar has down the road, simply click here.