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



3 Stocks Holding Back the Dow

Last week was an exciting climb for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) . However, hitting four new record-high closes in a row can take a lot out of investors, who may be taking a more cautious approach to the market this week. At noon the index was enjoying gains of 18 points, or 0.12%.

With no big economic news today, most investors will focus on the negative international news, particularly the new economic worries in China. Reports show that the country's consumer inflation rose sharply, while both retail sales and industrial production did not meet anticipated levels. This news comes only days after an announcement by the Chinese government that it will put stricter provisions in place to manage the country's level of home-ownership, which could dampen the economy further.

3 losers in the mix
General Electric
(NYSE: GE  ) was leading the way this morning after CEO Jeff Immelt highlighted the negative affects of the government's inability to settle the budget debate in the company's shareholder letter. Citing the continued disagreements in Washington and increased regulations during a time of "financial strain" as the main reasons for the decrease in corporate capital expenditures, Immelt says it's hard to see how the country will regain its full strength until these issues are resolved. This isn't a glowing outlook from GE's top dog, and it also doesn't help that the company was also just downgraded by analysts, though the stock's price target remains at $24.

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) is also seeing red today due to issues involving the company's CEO -- that is, it doesn't have one. Despite new product announcements, possible contracts with Apple, and upgrades to its core processors, Intel's lack of a new CEO is overshadowing all the positive news the company should be benefiting from. Though management has had four weeks to make a decision since Paul Otellini's announcement that he would retire in May, the chip maker finds itself in an unfamiliar position, as it normally has a clear succession plan in place.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) is headed south so far in trading today. Although the tech giant is taking strides to update its software to close security gaps and is highlighting the capabilities of its new big-data product, analysts have recently downgraded Mr. Softy, dropping the company's price target to $27 based on concerns about the speed of Windows 8's market-share growth and a recent cut in Surface tablet sales estimates.

The bright side
One of the Dow's components has been a bright light of optimism this morning: UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) . Up 1.2% so far in trading, the health care group can largely thank its ex-dividend date on Wednesday for the boost. Though the company has not raised its dividend for the past four quarters, investors may wish to cash in on the company's continued reign as Fortune's "World's Most Admired Company" in insurance and managed care, which it has won for the past three years.

The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for the next year. Find out which stock it is in the brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2013." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (4)

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.

  • Report this Comment On March 11, 2013, at 2:13 PM, bmpskeer wrote:

    When I saw the headline for this article I knew GE had to be one of the three, and surprise surprise, who's at the top of the list, but GE. Besides that ball and chain financial unit, Jeff Immelt is GE's biggest problem, not the govt or the deficit, but Jeff Immelt. THIS GUY HAS GOT TO GO!!!!. I got sick and tired of waiting around for this POS to come back and finally sold it last week. Immelt ought to take up the luge because he's great at riding stuff downhill.

Add your comment.

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: 2305117, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/28/2016 10:40:42 AM

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 18,235.22 6.92 0.04%
S&P 500 2,161.25 1.32 0.06%
NASD 5,305.44 -0.27 -0.01%

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

9/28/2016 10:25 AM
^DJI $18235.22 Up +6.92 +0.04%
GE $29.74 Down -0.14 -0.48%
General Electric CAPS Rating: ****
INTC $37.31 Up +0.13 +0.34%
Intel CAPS Rating: ****
MSFT $57.93 Down -0.02 -0.03%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****
UNH $140.23 Down -0.56 -0.40%
UnitedHealth Group CAPS Rating: ****