Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



How Italy's Election Dragged on Stock Markets Today

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

With little economic news hitting Wall Street today, the markets looked overseas for inspiration -- and they did not like what they saw. Elections are taking place in Italy, and it looks like the country's austerity agenda may be in question and a clear leader won't emerge this time around. Italy is still running a large deficit that threatens its standing as a member of the European Union and, by extension, Italy's euro-denominated debt. The uncertainty has the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) falling 0.63% in late trading, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) has fallen 0.85%.

It's no surprise that Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM  ) are two of the biggest decliners in today's trading session, falling 2.7% and 1.3%, respectively. Banks as large as these two have exposure to Europe in one way or another, and if Italy falls apart or the euro breaks up, there would be broad consequences across the financial industry. Right now the uncertainty is enough to push stocks lower, but it may be months before we know the true fallout of this election.

Also moving lower today is Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) , which has lost 1.6% of its value today. Again, uncertainty in Italy casts doubt on all of Europe, which is still a big customer for Caterpillar, so more European turmoil would hurt demand as it did during the financial crisis. I would be less concerned about Caterpillar than a bank stock, given today's news, so if you're looking to get in, this is a good buying opportunity.

When the economy comes into question, there's one stock investors love to buy: McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) . The stock is one of just six Dow components moving higher today, and its 1.6% gain leads all others. It probably didn't hurt that Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence gave the company a shout-out on the red carpet last night, giving the company some free advertising at the award show.

After making investors rich in 2011, McDonald's has been one of the worst-performing blue-chip stocks of 2012. Our top analyst on the company will tell you whether you should be worried by this trend, and he'll shed light on whether McDonald's is a buy at today's prices. Click here now to read our premium research report on the company.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2276745, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/31/2016 6:23:58 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,400.88 -53.42 -0.29%
S&P 500 2,170.95 -5.17 -0.24%
NASD 5,213.22 -9.77 -0.19%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/31/2016 4:44 PM
^DJI $18400.88 Down -53.42 -0.29%
^GSPC $2170.95 Down -5.17 -0.24%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
BAC $16.14 Up +0.03 +0.16%
Bank of America CAPS Rating: ****
JPM $67.50 Down +0.00 +0.00%
JPMorgan Chase CAPS Rating: ****
MCD $115.66 Up +0.30 +0.26%
McDonald's CAPS Rating: ***