This morning the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for July was released, and while June's numbers came in at 83.9 and analysts were expecting an 84, the results bested both figures at 85.1. But, as my colleague Dan Caplinger noted earlier today, strong consumers can't hold the markets higher today.
As of 12:55 p.m. EDT the major indexes are all lower today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is down 79 points, or 0.51%, while the S&P 500 is lower by 0.38% and the Nasdaq has lost 0.15%. Only a handful of the Dow's 30 components are trading higher so far, so let's take a minute to look at a few of the losers.
Shares of Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) are down 1% today as the price of crude sinks. Just yesterday the stock was up 1.1% for the session, and I commented on how even at their current price, shares look rather cheap. The company is trading at less than 10 times earnings and pays a healthy 3.2% dividend yield. When we look at the company from a growth perspective, it doesn't look like a big winner with a market cap of $245 billion, so it's unlikely the stock will more than double in the coming years. But the strong dividend, combined with increasing worldwide demand for oil and energy, will make Chevron a stable winner for the years to come.
The Dow's financial stocks are also taking a hit today. Shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) are down 0.8%, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) has lost 1% and American Express (NYSE: AXP ) is 1.1% lower. One reason the banks may be slipping is a report from Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski stating that mortgage-banking revenues declined 12.5% year over year during the second quarter, while investment-banking revenues rose 33% and trust, brokerage, and asset-management fees climbed 12.8%. The problem with these numbers is that the mortgage side of banks' businesses fell this year before rates rose for the full quarter, as they really only increased during part of May and June. This may lead investors to believe that in the third quarter the banks' mortgage businesses will again decline -- and perhaps by much more than just 12.5%.
As for American Express, the company still faces a potential hit to revenue from a proposed idea in the European Union to cap the fees which credit and debit card companies can charge per transaction. Some analyst have estimated that this would reduce Amex's revenue by more than $4 billion, and that would really throw expectations off.