Why the Dow Flip-Flopped This Morning

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One thing investors learn quickly is that good news doesn't necessarily translate into long-lasting gains for the financial markets. Despite a better-than-expected jobs report this morning that initially sent stock futures higher and led to a positive open for the stock market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) couldn't hold its gains and was down 55 points at 10:45 a.m. EDT. With the jobs report marking the last major economic release before next week's election, investors are undoubtedly turning to the uncertainty in the presidential race and related issues like the fiscal cliff as sources of mild pessimism.

Among big movers in the Dow, Travelers (NYSE: TRV  ) again moved lower, falling by 2% as the company faces ever-increasing estimates of damage from Hurricane Sandy. With governors in the states most affected by the storm declaring that Sandy's winds were insufficient to qualify as a hurricane, deductibles that would have applied now won't, costing Travelers and its peers more in loss claims.

On the earnings front, Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) lost more than 2% on a 33% drop in net income during the third quarter. With lower oil and gas prices and falling production contributing to a $5.6 billion drop in quarterly revenue from the year-ago period, Chevron faces the continuing threat of idled production off the coast of Brazil, where oil spills have prompted government investigations. The news follows ExxonMobil's (NYSE: XOM  ) own lackluster earnings report, which raised similar concerns.

Outside the Dow, (Nasdaq: PCLN  ) saw its stock price climb more than $60 per share due to a strong earnings report. A 27% rise in net income was positive, but even more encouraging were signs that Europe's economy may finally be stabilizing. That would bode well not just for the online travel portal, but for businesses generally.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of and ExxonMobil. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Chevron and 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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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10/21/2016 4:47 PM
^DJI $18145.71 Down -16.64 -0.09%
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ExxonMobil CAPS Rating: ****