Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) closed the day lower by 113 points, or 0.73%, and now rest at 15,337. Only eight of the Dow's 30 components managed to post a winning session today, as 22 closed lower. On days like today, when the losers outnumber the winners by a large percentage, the sea of red on the big board is hard to miss and makes me always think of the saying: When the bears take control, not only do the pigs get slaughtered but so do the bulls.
Shares of Home Depot (NYSE: HD) declined by 2.52% today, making it the top Dow loser of the day. Investors concerned about the Fed's tapering of its bond-buying program are fleeing the retailer on the idea that less stimulus from the Fed will send bond yields higher, making interest rates for mortgages climb, ultimately hurting the home-improvement store. The problem with this thesis is that a lot of ifs must all come true and, even if they do, we don't truly know how higher rates tomorrow will affect the housing recovering and how that may or may not change the flow of traffic in and out of Home Depots. Investors should at the very least sit tight. Better yet, they should use a decline like today's as a buying opportunity.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) was another big loser as shares fell 2.48%. The only negative news to be found was a report that a larger-than-usual options trade was placed on the stock. A single trade of 16,927 October $95 calls was sold today. This means that someone believes the stock will rise back to $95 per share before October, but no higher. This volume of call options was four times more than what usually trade in a whole day for Johnson & Johnson. Before today's share-price decline, the trade indicted that the stock would not rise more than 2.13% over the next month and a half. In comparison, the stock is up 29.39% over the past eight-and-a-half months, even after today's move lower.
Share of United Technologies (NYSE: UTX) was another 1% loser today. The company announced it was cutting 400 jobs from its Pratt & Whitney unit yesterday, and as Boeing continues to struggle today because of more problems with its 787 Dreamliner, investors may be concerned that things at the aircraft parts manufacturer could get worse in the future and that the recent job cuts are just the tip of the iceberg. Pratt & Whitney is a big part of United Technologies and if the unit experiences a multiyear slump, the overall health of the company would certainly take a hit.
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