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After another rough day on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) sits lower by 126 points, or 0.84%, even though it was up 119 points at one time today. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) also lost 0.84% while the Nasdaq performed slightly worse, losing 1.06% during regular trading hours. At 9:32 a.m. EDT, the Dow hit its high of the day, which was at 15,241 (up 199 points), but it was all downhill after that as the index closed just below the 15,000 mark at 14,995. The downward pressure was strong and fierce today as it pulled stocks lower even after what would normally seem to be good news about individual companies.
The Dow's unwarranted losers
Shares of Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) ended the day lower by 1.56% even though data from CoreLogic was released today that indicated that a lower number of homeowners are now underwater than there were back in the fourth quarter of 2012. CoreLogic said that during the first quarter of 2013 there were 9.7 million properties underwater, while during the last quarter of 2012, 10.5 million homeowners owed more than their homes were worth. The reason this should have been perceived as good news for Home Depot is that the company's CFO recently stated that homeowners who are not underwater spend three times as much money at the retailer than those who are.
United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) fell 1.07%. But similar to Home Depot, not all was bad today. The company's board of directors approved and announced a dividend of $0.53 per share payable on September 10 shareholders of record on August 16. While typically we see companies increase their dividend on a yearly basis, so as the dividend amount is the same for four quarters, this will be the fifth consecutive quarterly dividend payment at the $0.53 rate for United Technologies. This has been a common practice for the company since 2003, however. United Technologies' stock seems to fly under the radar of a lot of dividend investors, even though it has given cash back to shareholders every single year since 1936. Perhaps that is because the yield is nothing to write home about at 2.3%.
Lastly, while most sports fans, the 3-D technology developers, and perhaps a few employees may not see this as a good move, shareholders should understand that Disney's (NYSE: DIS ) decision to cut its ESPN 3-D cable channel in the U.S. is the correct move at this time. ESPN has already announced that it will be laying off employees as a way to cut costs and today it announced that it would end the 3-D cable channel it launched in 2010 at the end of this year, which is likely another move to lower expenses. While most Americans love going to a 3-D movie, the technology has not made its way en masse to the home just yet. One analyst from SNL Kagan commented today that this service is "just too early" and not yet "ready for prime time" in the living room. Shares of Walt Disney moved lower by 1.27%.
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