Why the Dow Continued to Struggle Today

After a heated start to the year that saw major indices reach five-year highs, a two day losing streak has shaved off more than 150 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , sparking speculation that we may be seeing the beginning of a more dramatic correction. The Dow stumbled 46 points today, or 0.34%, to close at 13,880. 

One company that didn't get the bearish memo today was Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) , which added 2.4% during the day before surging more than 6% after hours, following first quarter results that exceeded Wall Street expectations. Despite a sixth straight quarter of declining year-over-year revenue, the 6% fall in sales in the most recent quarter actually demonstrated that HP's turnaround efforts may be starting to take effect. 

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) , on the other hand, fell 3.2% for a second consecutive day, to rank as the worst performing blue chip stock. The catalyst was the same that played a role in the broader market's sluggishness: the Federal Reserve minutes from January that have investors worried about the future of quantitative easing measures.

Outside of the Dow, shares of Texas Instruments (NASDAQ: TXN  ) went the same way as most other semiconductor companies on the day, falling 1.75%. Of the 24 groups in the S&P 500 Index, the semiconductor group had the worst showing Thursday. The tables may turn with TI shares tomorrow, as the company hiked its dividend by 33%, and also authorized a further $5 billion worth of share buybacks this afternoon. 

3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) , one of the hottest stocks in the market over the last few years, continued its recent steep pullback Thursday, falling more than 8%, to close more than 23% below its 52-week highs. Seeing trading volume more than 70% higher than normal, investors are taking profits – and there are plenty to be had for long-term shareholders – before the company reports earnings on Monday.

3D Systems is at the leading edge of a disruptive technological revolution, with the broadest portfolio of 3-D printers in the industry. However, despite years of earnings growth, 3D Systems' share price has risen even faster, and today, the company sports a dizzying valuation. To help investors decide whether the future of additive manufacturing is bright enough to justify the lofty price tag on the company's shares, The Motley Fool has compiled a premium research report on whether 3D Systems is a buy right now. In our report, we take a close look at 3D Systems' opportunities, risks, and critical factors for growth. You'll also find reasons to buy or sell, and receive a full year of analyst updates with the report. To start reading, simply click here now for instant access.


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