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 Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) fell below the 15,000 level again today, posting triple-digit losses that amounted to a fall of 136 points. As the U.S. government teeters closer to default and once again threatens international confidence in the capital-market apparatus, lawmakers don't seem to understand the impact their actions are having on investors. A Federal Reserve release showing a drop in credit card usage in August also raised questions about the strength of the consumer-led recovery, even though overall consumer credit rose more than expected. Broader market measures posted similar declines.

Yet a few bright spots lingered in the Dow today. Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) climbed 0.1% even as the semiconductor giant faces another potential threat to its long-term business. As Fool contributor Daniel Sparks wrote about earlier today, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly looking at unifying its chip architecture among its mobile devices and its desktop and laptop computers, creating an in-house chip design that would supplant Intel from its presence in Apple's Mac line. That move would help Apple immensely and could be partially responsible for its stock's 1% jump today, but for Intel, losing Apple would be another challenge to overcome.

The other gainers were both in the telecom industry, as Verizon (NYSE:VZ) climbed 0.4% while AT&T (NYSE:T) gained 0.7%. Both companies should prosper from Apple's newest iPhone releases, with both the iPhone 5c and 5s gaining solid demand among consumers. Verizon also earned some positive comments from analysts about its cloud-computing service, as the telecom's offering should be able to compete well against other providers serving the same large enterprise customers that Verizon has access to on the telecom front. Meanwhile, AT&T's new FiLIP wearable tracking device for parents to keep tabs on children should draw some interesting responses from families and privacy advocates alike. The device will enable parental notification if children leave certain defined areas, with obvious benefits in cases of foul play but broader implications as well. Regardless, both Verizon and AT&T are well-positioned to stay relevant even as the smartphone industry evolves.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns shares of Apple. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.