The markets are rather calm as investors wait for this afternoon's press conference with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. As of 12:40 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is up just 46 points, or 0.34%, to 13,296. At the moment, only six of the Dow's 30 components are trading in the red. Three of the biggest losers are 3M (NYSE: MMM ) , Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) , and Boeing (NYSE: BA ) .
So why are they down?
This morning 3M held a conference call in which management discussed the company's 2013 outlook. Yesterday investors bid up the stock price in anticipation of this morning's call, but with the stock on today's list of losers, you can probably guess that the call didn't go as well as some had hoped. Although the company gave an earnings range of $6.70 to $6.95 per share with a midpoint at $6.825, analysts were expecting the midpoint to be $6.84 per shares. The company also confirmed the lower 2012 full-year earnings forecast. Shares of 3M are down 0.75% today.
Superstore Wal-Mart is also watching its value decline today. Shares are currently down 2.3%, making Wal-Mart the Dow's worst performer today. The company was hit by a few negative stories today. First, CEO Mike Duke made some comments last night indicating that 15% of its shoppers have cut back on holiday spending because of the fiscal cliff. Then, this morning, India's government announced an inquiry into Wal-Mart's lobbying practices. The investigation was pushed by individuals who oppose Wal-Mart's presence in the country. I'm sure the recent textile fire in the neighboring country of Bangladesh pressed the issue.
Lastly, shares of Boeing are down 0.11% today. This morning it was announced that a federal judge ruled the company will have to proceed to trial with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the Society of Engineering Employees in Aerospace over the sale of its commercial aircraft operations in Wichita, Kan. Union officials say the 2005 sale, which created the Spirit AeroSystems Company, was a breach of the collective-bargaining contract between Boeing and the unions.
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