Consumers Inflict a Painful Ending to the Dow's Erratic Week

The markets sure lost yesterday's momentum in a hurry. After downbeat economic reports came out this morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) began a day-long sump and has lost more than 100 points as of 2:10 p.m. EDT. Only a handful of stocks are in the green today as most blue chips beat a hasty retreat, including a few big-time losers. Let's take a look at the stories you need to know about on the Dow's tumbling end to an up-and-down week.

Consumers pull back
Consumers kicked off the day with a bad start. A report from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan showed a preliminary reading of June's consumer confidence falling from May's six-year high of 84.5 to 82.7. That's still a strong number in the economy's recovery, but it's a minor hiccup after the recent highs. It's no reason for investors to panic.

Still, the consumer confidence dip has taken a toll on stocks today. American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) , one of the Dow's most consumer-reliant stocks, has led the index down today, with shares shedding 2.4%. The recovery has done wonders for this stock in its nearly 30% rise over the past six months, but a downgrade from Barclays today to "equal weight" hasn't helped shares any. Still, as the economy continues to recover and consumers get past issues such as the recent tax hike and sequestration, American Express and other consumer-oriented stocks should continue to capitalize.

DuPont (NYSE: DD  ) shares aren't performing much better today, down 3% so far. The tumble comes after the company announced yesterday that the U.S.' wet and colder-than-average spring will negatively affect its first-half operating profit. Farmers have returned seed and other products due to the unusual climate activity this spring, and Europe and Canada have also been hit by weather-related issues. DuPont's nutrition business has also experienced some unseasonable pressure, according to the company.

Bank stocks haven't fared well either today. JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM  ) shares have dropped 2.2% to rank among the Dow's top laggards. The company announced that it will spin off its private-equity business after CEO Jamie Dimon had been gradually reducing the company's exposure to the segment for years. JPMorgan's private-equity segment, known as One Equity Partners, manages more than $4 billion for the company.

A few stocks have managed to make gains despite the markets woes, however. Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) shares rank among the handful of holdouts on the Dow, gaining 0.5%. Yesterday Pfizer and Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceuticals won a $2.15 billion settlement in a patent-infringement case over generic copies of Pfizer and Takeda's Protonix, a heartburn relief therapy. It's a big win for Big Pharma, which has struggled recently with the patent cliff as sales of top drugs have fallen off due to patent expirations.

Is JPMorgan the best bank buy?
With big finance firms still trading at deep discounts to their historic norms, investors everywhere are wondering if this is the new normal or if finance stocks are a screaming buy today. The answer depends on the company, so to help you figure out whether JPMorgan is a buy today, check out The Motley Fool's premium research report on the company. Click here now for instant access!


Read/Post Comments (2) | Recommend This Article (6)

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 June 14, 2013, at 3:14 PM, nomofunfun wrote:

    All's that missing now is a Dr. Fun post.

    Can't wait to hear his doom and gloom over DuPont shares when Monsanto is being sued by the world (and will LOSE).

  • Report this Comment On June 14, 2013, at 4:24 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    The rain on grain on the plain fails to explain the sizable slide in DuPont's expected H1 EPS in the midst of a gradually improving global economy.

    We believe DuPont's customarily secretive and evasive Management is blaming the weather in the Mid-West to disguise and cover up more intrinsic weaknesses within this struggling conglomerate based in Delaware.

    Merely our opinion...funfun..

Add your comment.

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: 2490661, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 11/28/2014 12:13:18 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...


Advertisement