Markets Fall As Shutdown Seems Likely

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

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.

As the politicians argued in Washington about the federal government's budget, stocks across the board lost value today. Investors concerned about how a possible government shutdown would affect the economy sold off stocks, causing the three major indexes to all move lower this afternoon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) ended lower by 128 points, or 0.84%, while the broader S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved lower by 0.6% and 0.27%, respectively. Not only are the other two indexes composed of a larger number of stocks than the Dow, but the Dow is also intended to give a snapshot picture of what the U.S. economy is doing -- and since that's the case, it would make sense that on a day when the U.S. government is on the verge of shutting down, a U.S.-focused index is a big loser.

Let's look at a few of the larger components that helped pull the index lower today.

Shares of Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) ended today's session as the worst-performing Dow component, losing 2.1%. Considering Procter & Gamble's size ($207 billion market cap) and the products it sells (essential household items), to think a shutdown would affect P&G all that much is kind of silly. What's more likely is that the stock fell in tandem with Unilever -- the marker of Dove soap, Lipton tea, and countless other essential products similar to P&G -- when it warned investors that growth from emerging markets was slowing. Emerging markets are a big area for P&G and other brand-name global companies.  

Shares of United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) also slid 1.41% today. but unlike P&G's decline, this one was probably warranted. United Technologies gets a good deal of its business from the Defense Department, and a government shutdown could put a halt on new contract awards from DoD. But as I mentioned this morning, today may be a great buying opportunity for a number of stocks, and one of those great opportunities may be United Technologies. Even if DoD isn't awarding contracts during a shutdown, it will still be functioning, and that means planes and other vehicles will still need to be serviced.

Lastly, shares of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) moved lower by 0.53%. With America's health-care system up in the air even as the Obamacare exchanges are set to open tomorrow, investors took some money off the table today. Taking profits and sitting back to see how things shake out is not a terrible idea right now.

A deeper Foolish perspective
Obamacare is rewriting the rules for the health-care industry, and in the process of doing so, it's creating massive opportunities for investors to get ridiculously rich. How? By investing in a handful of specific health care stocks. In this free report, our analysts walk you through these opportunities and the companies that are positioned to exploit them. The informational edge contained in it is invaluable, but can only be exploited profitably while the rest of the market remains in the dark. To access this free report instantly, simply click here 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.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

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: 2662138, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/24/2016 10:24:35 PM

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...

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/23/2016 4:55 PM
^DJI $18261.45 Down -131.01 -0.71%
PG $87.76 Down -1.23 -1.38%
Procter and Gamble CAPS Rating: ****
UNH $140.51 Down -0.53 -0.38%
UnitedHealth Group CAPS Rating: ****
UTX $102.56 Down -0.44 -0.43%
United Technologie… CAPS Rating: ****