This morning, I noted how the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Index: ^DJI) had been acting rather erratic this week. And that trend continued all day today. After opening higher, then sliding into the red, the Dow spent the last few hours bouncing along the break-even point, and finally ended the day in the green. At 13,328, up 2.46 points or 0.02%, the index managed to break a four day losing streak. And although the Dow achieved a win for today, it is still down more than 2% since last Friday's close.
What's even more shocking about today's Dow win is that only 11 of its 30 components closed in the green. Two companies saw their shares end the day flat, while 17 stocks were negative. The four organizations that fell the hardest today were JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), AT&T (NYSE: T), and Verizon (NYSE: VZ).
So why are they down?
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) moved lower by 1.14% and 2.36% respectively. Only because JPMorgan crushed earnings estimates this morning, it didn't fall as far as Bank of America, but neither company could shake investors' fears, which stemmed from Wells Fargo's (NYSE: WFC) earnings report. The major concern comes from the spread between interest rates on loans and investments, which narrowed more than expected. While Wells Fargo holds more mortgage loans than any other bank in the U.S., the shrinking spread will surely affect all banks across the industry.
Two other Dow losers, AT&T and Verizon, watched their shares slide 1.74% and 1.28%, respectively. The possible Softbank buyout of Sprint (NYSE: S) could still be affecting share prices.
Today, Sprint announced it will continue its aggressive plan to add 4G LTE service to more than 20 cities.This massive infrastructure project would be difficult for Sprint to accomplish without the assistance of Softbank, due to the company's $21 billion of debt. Sprint has fallen way behind AT&T and Verizon when it comes to network size, but the proposed Softbank deal could help Sprint not only gain ground on the network side, but also begin increasing its market share.
Matt Thalman owns shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, 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.