Dow Lags as Latent Disappointment Holds Down the Market

After an intense week of economic data, investors may be taking a breather this morning, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) lower in trading so far today. The index is down 52 points as of 11:45 a.m. EDT, with only seven component stocks in positive territory. Though some positive data did come to light this morning, investors may be looking for more concrete proof that the economy is in fact getting better.

Disappointment leaves bad taste 
Last week was heavy on new economic data, but the single most anticipated report was Friday's Employment Situation from the Department of Labor Statistics. And what investors got was a big plate of disappointing news -- only 162,000 new jobs added during the month of July, far below the anticipated rate for a labor market that had seemed to be steadily improving. Add to that a drop in the official unemployment rate to 7.4%, but due mainly to a large drop in the number of workers participating in the labor market, and you've got yourself some dense data to try to parse through.

Though there was plenty of info last week that gave investors good vibes, the labor market's importance in the overall economy overshadows most of the other factors. With that, investors now have to figure out the impact of any new data points, and whether they can outweigh Friday's letdown. So far, the answer looks like a resounding "no."

Within the Dow
Though it didn't give any help to the Dow as its was reaching new heights on Friday, UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) is the index's biggest winner so far in trading today. Despite losing 1.2% on Friday, the health care provider is up 32.49% for the year so far -- even with the uncertainty surrounding the entire health care system. Though this morning's gains aren't the result of news pertaining directly to the company, UnitedHealth investors are getting plenty of incentive to stick around and see how the company handles the challenges ahead.

American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) is the sole financial component in positive territory so far this morning in trading. With more data arriving later this week on consumer credit and spending, the personal finance firm is sure to see some more action as the week moves forward. Bolstered so far this year by its focus on wealthier demographics, AmEx has risen almost 29% year to date. As the remaining segments of the population gain more footing and increase their consumer spending, AmEx and its competitors are sure to see more opportunities arise and revenue grow.

Both Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) and JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM  ) are struggling to keep their heads above water this morning, as investors weigh the gravity of recent charges against B of A. The bank has a flurry of new legal battles on its hands as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Justice Department, and New York attorney general's office all seek civil suits against it regarding mortgage-backed securities it sold. And JPMorgan's public exit from the commodities business may have let the bank cut its ties with questionable practices, but the implications of such an exit and its history may still be suspect to investors.

Lately it seems as if there's always some sort of trouble or scandal surrounding the nation's big banks. And with so many investors still terrified about investing in big banking stocks after the crash, it's no surprise that the firms aren't reaching their full potentials on the trading floor. But the sector has one notable standout. In a sea of mismanaged and dangerous peers, it rises above the rest as "The Only Big Bank Built to Last." You can uncover the top pick that Warren Buffett loves in The Motley Fool's new report. It's free, so click here to access it now.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

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.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

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: 2579149, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/23/2014 2:52:43 AM

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...

Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you

Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


Advertisement