For a good part of the day, everything looked good for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) to break its streak of losses this week. Positive news on jobless claims provided a bullish backdrop for the open, and stocks rose sharply during the morning hours. But later, uncertainty seemed to creep back into the market and, by the close of trading, the Dow actually finished down 19 points, marking its fourth straight daily loss.
Telecom stocks AT&T (NYSE: T ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) were among the three worst performers today, falling 1.8% and 1.3%, respectively. The two stocks are likely reeling over the aggressive entrance of Japan's Softbank into the U.S. market, as the Japanese carrier has been reported to be seeking to take a 70% stake in Sprint (NYSE: S ) . With Sprint's woes having largely ceded the entire space to AT&T and Verizon, the prospect of a comeback for the carrier has obvious implications for the two giants in the space.
Disney (NYSE: DIS ) also had a substantial loss of 1.7% today. The company faces a lawsuit from Stan Lee Media for alleged copyright violations in connection with Disney's movies based on Marvel characters. For its part, Disney argues that the suit is without merit, and that previous court decisions have already decided the same issues alleged in the current suit.
Finally, Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) lost 1.2%. The company got downgraded by Oppenheimer yesterday, but follow-through selling may also be coming, because the stock has come so far in the past year. At current prices, Home Depot's stock is priced for a certain housing recovery -- something that may not be so quick in actually coming.