Why 3 Dow Stocks Are Dropping Today

With the economic-data front rather quiet today and all the good news from Europe dried up after yesterday's big announcements, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is searching for a catalyst. Other than the same old fiscal concerns, most investors are having a hard time finding any major macro stimulants to trade on today.

With no major forces pulling or pushing the markets in either direction, the Dow is down a mere two points as of 12:50 p.m. EST. So far during today's trading session, the index is mixed, with 17 stocks down and 13 either up or flat. Below I'll explain what's hitting three of the losers today.

Today's big Dow losers
Shares of Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) are lower by 0.5% so far today. Yesterday a federal appeals court announced that the company will have to pay $319 million dollars to the creators of the popular game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire. A 2010 jury decided that Disney attempted to hide profits from the show, and yesterday the appeals judge withheld that ruling. Even as large as Disney is, no company ever wants to pay out a few hundred million dollars. But the true damage of this scandal is the big black smudge on Disney's name.

Shares of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) are slightly lower today after an internal memo showed the company changing a few executives in both the corporate and investment-banking sides of the business. Most notably, Latin America CEO Nicolas Aguzin will move to Hong Kong and become the CEO of Asia Pacific. Shares are down almost 1% today. Meanwhile, Dow banking peer Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) is up 0.2%.

Shares of Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  )  continuing yesterday's decline. After the Institute of Supply Management report came out yesterday and showed that U.S. manufacturing contracted in the month of November, shareholders have been selling out of the Cat. A number of industries that either support Caterpillar's products or purchase its finished goods showed contraction in the month. Caterpillar is highly sensitive to this sort of economic data, and shareholders need to remember this during volatile times.

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