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With more encouraging housing news being released, the markets continued to climb today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) rose by 48 points, or 0.32%, while the S&P 500 rose by 0.41%, and the Nasdaq increased by 0.49%. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 now sit well above their milestones of 15,000 and 1,600, at 15,105 and 1,632, respectively. And after the Nasdaq rose 14 points today, it sits above the 3,400 mark at 3,413.
The bulls keep running as it appears the economy is strengthening and strong earnings reports continue to flow in. But even when the market as a whole moves higher, we can still find a few losers.
Today's Dow losers
Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) lost 0.96% of their value today. One reason shares slipped was the announcement that the European Union would hear Cisco's (NASDAQ: CSCO ) appeal against the EU's approval of Microsoft's $8.5 billion buyout of Skype Technologies. The initial approval came back in Oct. 2011, when the court ruled that the deal wouldn't harm competition because the industry was growing rapidly and there were a number of competitors. Cisco is appealing the ruling, arguing that Microsoft should have been required to open Skype's platform to allow rival products the ability to work with the video communication software before allowing the deal to go through.
Shares of the Dow's pharmaceutical stocks also fell today. Merck moved lower by 0.62% while Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) lost 0.21% of its value. Both companies report poor earnings for the first quarter and are facing increased pressure from the generic pharmaceutical market as major drugs lose their patent protection. Pfizer has also taken steps recently to increase sales by offering its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra to prescribed customers over the Internet. If this distribution method works for Viagra, we may soon see other drugs sold by the manufactures in this way.
Another big loser was Boeing (NYSE: BA ) , which saw its shares fall 0.28% today. This morning, the company warned that the closure of the U.S. Export-Import Bank would seriously hurt its ability to compete in the global market and it would give Boeing's biggest competitor, Airbus, the upper hand. The Ex-Im Bank provides loans and guarantees that assist U.S. companies in exporting goods, and the Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson announced on Tuesday that it would cease operations in two months if the Senate fails to approve the nominee Fred Hochberg to run the bank. While this may simply be political posturing, investors are likely concerned it could backfire and actually hurt Boeing's business.
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