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After three consecutive days of setting new all-time highs, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) slid lower today, closing short of yesterday's high by 32 points, or 0.21%, and now rests at 15,451. Following suit, the other two major indexes also moved lower today. as the S&P 500 lost the most, with 0.37%, and the Nasdaq shed 0.25%.
The declines came on a day when two of the Dow's components released earnings before the markets opened: Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola. Neither company impressed investors, as Coke fell 1.9%, while Johnson & Johnson closed flat for the session. We might have expected the strong homebuilder sentiment report or the positive industrial production numbers to have moved markets upward in spite of the drop in these stocks, but it was not to be today.
There were a few shining stars within the Dow, however. The biggest winner on the index today was Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) , whose shares rose 1.29%. The company is scheduled to release quarterly earnings tomorrow, and investors may have been trying to jump in before tomorrow's release. My colleague Dan Caplinger noted earlier today the release will be a big one for the company, as it will be a great opportunity for investors to learn about new CEO Brian Krzanich's strategic vision for the company.
Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) rose 0.88% after the release of the strong homebuilder confidence and industrial production numbers, the latter of which takes into account not only output from U.S. factories but also from mines and utility companies. And since Caterpillar is a big player in the mining equipment field, investors surely saw this report as good news for the company.
Another of the Dow's big winners was AT&T (NYSE: T ) , which saw shares rise 0.93% today. The likely catalyst was a Wall Street Journal indicating that the wireless company will soon offer a plan for customers to upgrade their cell phones on a more frequent basis. This move may be an attempt to stop customers from leaving the No. 2 wireless carrier for T-Mobile, which recently announced a similar plan.