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.
With the tensions in Syria nearly disappearing from investors' minds, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is making another big move today. After gaining 128 points yesterday, the index is higher again by 85 points, or 0.56%, as of 12:45 p.m. EDT today. But, the other major U.S. indexes aren't having such a good session, as the S&P 500 is only up 0.08%, and the Nasdaq is actually down 0.22%. The two broader indexes are likely being weighed down by Apple's 5% move lower today, as investors show their disappointment in the new iPhone offering.
While the index itself is moving higher, one Dow loser today is Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) , as shares are down 0.2% this afternoon. The move comes after the stock was downgraded by analysts at SunTrust from Buy, to Neutral. The move comes on the heels of Procter & Gamble gambling with the lower-priced version of its name-brand laundry detergent Tide, which the analyst believes is a "bad idea." SunTrust feels the Tide brand will be diluted, and that Procter & Gamble's Gain brand will be the biggest loser. Gain is P&G's mid-low-end detergent brand, and the cheaper Tide version may attract customers who would normally purchase that product. It seems that the analyst's biggest concern is that the competing brands will now cannibalize each other. SunTrust's price target was also lowered from $88, to $80.
The Dow's banks are having a mixed day today, as shares of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) are down 0.21%, and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) is slightly higher, up 0.29%. The moves come as the Mortgage Bankers Association released data this morning indicating that mortgage applications and refinance applications both tanked last week. Mortgage applications fell 13.5% from the week before, while refinance volumes slide 20% from the previous reading. While the Labor Day holiday may have had some affect on the volumes, many are pointing toward higher interest rates as the culprit.
The association also said that its Refinance Index is down 71% from the peak it reached May 3, and is now at its lowest level since June of 2009. In response to the lower demand in applications, Bank of America plans to cut 2,000 jobs within its mortgage unit, while JPMorgan will just readjust it workforce where demand is needed. While both banks will surely experience weaker revenue and profits from their mortgage businesses, investors may be cheering on Bank of America today because its plans to trim its workforce as business slows, and selling off JPMorgan for not taking the same precautions at this time.
More foolish insight
Have you missed out on the massive gains in bank stocks over the past few years? There's good news: It's not too late. Bargains of a lifetime are still available, but you need to know where to look. The Motley Fool's new report, "Finding the Next Bank Stock Home Run," will show you how and where to find these deals. It's completely free -- click here to get started.