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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.
Even though a slim majority of publicly traded stocks gained ground today, two major indexes, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) , ended lower. It's the fourth straight day of losses for the Dow since last week's Fed decision to continue easy-money policies sent markets briefly soaring. The Dow's subsequent pullback, while tied to debt-ceiling jitters, also relates to the three new Dow components, which have an outsized effect on the average. The Dow lost 66 points, or 0.4%, Tuesday, to end at 15,334.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) stock was somehow able to weather some truly disappointing news out of South Korea today. The company was considered a shoo-in for a $7.7 billion fighter jet contract with the country's military after reports last week revealed that Boeing was the only bidder that didn't exceed South Korea's budget restrictions. You'd be forgiven for thinking Boeing had that one in the bag, but South Korea, ignoring pesky pre-established budgets, voted down Boeing's bid. The market, in response, ignored logic, bidding up Boeing stock 1.3%.
Nike (NYSE: NKE ) , in just its second day as a member of the Dow, gained 0.7%. The advance shows just how impervious to market declines a stock can be with a bullish analyst or two behind it. Deutsche Bank, maintaining its buy rating on the athletic apparel giant, raised its price target to $75 per share from $68. Nike's swoosh logo is one of the most recognized corporate symbols in the world, and gives the company amazing pricing power. That said, don't be sold on the stock for its pricing power alone. Shares trade at 25 times earnings, a frothy multiple for such a large company.
Another blue-chip newcomer, Visa (NYSE: V ) , lost 1.5% as the financial sector stumbled on Tuesday. With Goldman Sachs and Visa now two of the top three most influential stocks in the price-weighted Dow, investors should realize that the Dow's day-to-day average doesn't tell us quite what it did before. The Dow may be in for some tough times if the debt ceiling continues to dominate headlines and ballooning legal costs keep plaguing the big banks.
Did someone say ballooning legal costs? JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) knows all about those, a fact that failed to impress shareholders today as shares shed 2.2%. A Wall Street Journal report this afternoon details the potential extent of the bank's legal issues, claiming JPMorgan has offered Uncle Sam $3 billion to drop a number of investigations. More specific details aren't available at the moment, but it may cost the bank billions more to erase all of its legal problems.
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