After last Friday's dive, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) is taking it easier today. As of 1 p.m. EDT, the index is down about 42 points, or 0.31%. Even though third-quarter earnings haven't been horrible, they also haven't been great, leaving investors looking for other catalysts to boost the market. Until some of the major world economic fears are put to rest, the markets will likely hover around these levels for some time.
So why are they down?
General Electric investors had some time over the weekend to review third-quarter earnings, and now they are selling in droves. As of 1 p.m. EDT, more than 49 million shares have already been traded, while the average number is only 43 million. Fellow Fool Daniel Ferry believes shareholders overreacted on Friday when shares were sold off after the company announced earnings that morning. He thinks that because the company said 2013 would be similar to 2012, short-sighted shareholders are running for the hills. Shares are up 19% year to date, and the company pays a 3% dividend, but today the stock is down nearly 3%.
Shares of Microsoft are down more than 2% during today's trading session. The company is expected to begin selling its Surface tablet on Friday, and many believe it will be a dud. The long-awaited and hopeful PC industry savior, Windows 8, is also just on the horizon, but investors don't seem to believe it will be enough to get the company back to the top of the technology industry. The third-quarter results showed that pre-sales for Windows 8 were 40% higher than for Windows 7, but if the slowing PC sales continue, Windows 8 might pop at the beginning, only to flop later on.
Finally, shares of banking giant JPMorgan Chase are down by more than 1% today. The company announced decent third-quarter results two weeks ago but still seems to be affected by other banks' earnings releases. SunTrust (NYSE: STI ) announced that its profit rose in the third quarter due to securities. The company saw net interest margin narrow and increased its mortgage repurchase reserve. These kinds of results continue to shine a negative light on the banking industry as a whole.
After a day like Friday, when the market falls more than 200 points, the smart investors spent their weekend looking for cheap stocks to buy on Monday. If you didn't spend your weekend reading earnings reports, then one company is giving you a second chance to buy it cheaply: General Electric. Now that the stock has dropped for the last two trading sessions, now would be the time to buy it on the cheap -- but is GE a buy now? Find out in this premium report, which details all the risks and opportunities the company is facing. Before the buying opportunity disappears, click here to claim your investing edge.