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While a few industries and some stocks in particular have been negatively affected by President Obama's speech last night, for the most part investors treated today like just another day on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) ended the day down 35 points, or 0.26% and now sits at 13,982. The S&P 500 gained 0.06% while the Nasdaq was the best-performing index, adding 0.33% during today's trading session.
Of the 30 components that make up the Dow, 13 ended the day in the red. Earlier today, I explained why McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Merck were all moving lower -- click here to read what was causing these three companies to falter this afternoon, or continue to reading below to learn why Boeing (NYSE: BA ) , Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) , and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) all ended the day in the red.
Why were they lower?
Shares of Boeing ended the day down 0.96% after the United Nations' aviation agency ruled that lithium-ion batteries should not be shipped on passenger planes because of their risk of fire. The currently grounded 787 Dreamliner uses a lithium-ion battery, which helps power different systems on the plane and make the aircraft more fuel-efficient. The agency has made an exception for batteries that were designed specifically for aircraft, but that doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore. The 787 is grounded, after all, because of a fire that started in the battery systems compartment of a Dreamliner back in early January.
Caterpillar's stock closed the day down 0.86%. My Fool colleague John Maxfield noted earlier today that the stock may be down because of comments from competitor Deere's CEO, Samuel Allen. During a conference call today, Allen said his company's "near-term outlook is being tempered by uncertainties over fiscal, economic and trade issues that are undermining business confidence and restraining growth." The economic issues that Deere will face in the future will be very similar to those felt by Caterpillar.
Lastly, shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) both ended the day lower by 0.61% and 0.94%, respectively. The banks may have fallen because of comments the president made last night during his State of the Union address. Obama made it very clear that he would like Congress to continue enacting laws that will help homeowners refinance at the current historically low rates. If the government stepped in and forced the banks to offer more homeowners refinancing, their profits will decline because of the lower spread between the rates the banks are charging customers and the price it costs the banks to borrow the money themselves.
More Foolish insight
Are you at ease, or nervous? It's been a great five-year run for investors, with the Dow and S&P at or near all-time highs. Yet fears abound. When will the next downturn hit? Will political gridlock lead to portfolio-killing inflation? To learn how to protect your portfolio, click here for free guidance from the Motley Fool Pro Academy!