Why the Dow Took a Break This Morning

After a long bull run, the stock market often takes a break rather than shooting higher forever. That's part of what we saw yesterday, as big early gains ended up fading toward the end of the session. This morning, investors seem enthusiastic about the potential for the European crisis to resolve itself, as more analysts expect Spain to ask for bailout assistance from the rest of the eurozone. Yet stocks in Europe gave back earlier gains, and in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) initially traded flat before falling more sharply, with the average down 44 points just before 11 a.m. EDT.

Among Dow stocks, Travelers (NYSE: TRV  ) lost three-quarters of a percent despite having hit a new all-time high yesterday. Goldman Sachs analysts downgraded several companies in the property and casualty insurance sector, arguing that valuations have reached reasonable levels. Goldman took Travelers off its "Conviction Buy" list but kept its general "buy" rating on the company.

Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) fell two-thirds of a percent as it continues to face fallout from an engine defect on its 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The CEO of Qatar Airways said that it would refuse delivery of Dreamliners until the defect is repaired. The incident could also have a potential impact on General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) , which manufactured the engine in question. And given that Qatar Airways has orders for 60 aircraft, Boeing clearly wants to get the problem fixed as quickly as possible.

Finally, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) fell 0.7% on news that the New York Attorney General sued the bank. The suit alleges that Bear Stearns, which JPMorgan Chase took over during the financial crisis, engaged in "systemic fraud" in dealing with mortgage loans that become parts of mortgage-backed securities. The incident just adds to woes the bank has faced all year, most notably the billions in losses from the London Whale scandal.

Take a break
Temporarily giving back gains is part of being a long-term investor. But the best companies end up ahead in the long run. For General Electric, a long series of setbacks during the financial crisis finally came to an end, and the company has rebounded sharply since then. Find out all about it in the Fool's premium report on GE, which provides our latest analysis, along with a year's worth of free updates to take you well into the conglomerate's future. Click here and start reading today.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns warrants on JPMorgan Chase. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Goldman Sachs. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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