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The Dow's Biggest Losers of Last Week

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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.

Last year was a great one for the markets, as the major indexes all moved dramatically higher, but the first few days of 2014 have been less than impressive. On Jan. 2, the year's first day of trading, the major indexes all lost in a big way. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) fell 135 points, or 0.81%, and the S&P 500 declined 16 points, or 0.86%, while the Nasdaq slid by 33 points, or 0.79%.

Those declines put the indexes into positions they couldn't climb out of on Friday, causing them all to end the week in the red. During this past week, the Dow lost 8.42 points, or 0.05%, while the S&P 500 lost 10.03 points, or 0.54%, and the Nasdaq lost 24.68 points, or 0.59%.

Before we review the Dow's biggest losers, let's take a moment to highlight its top performer, Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) , whose shares rose 2.4% this past week, beating out the next best performer by a decent margin. One catalyst for the move was the report that Frozen brought in $28.8 million in ticket sales last weekend, good enough for second place in box office sales -- and that's after it's been in theaters for a month. Thar kind of showing may be a sign that Frozen could turn into the next big franchise for Disney to build on.  

Last week's big losers
(NYSE: XOM  ) was the biggest Dow loser this past week. Shares lost 1.97% of their value, with most of the drop following a Thursday report from Bloomberg that the company plans to open operations in Russia. These new ventures mark a shift in the company's previous stance on Russia, which was to stay out after Vladimir Putin's government confiscated OAO Yukos Oil's assets. That was more than a decade ago, but some investors may fear it could happen again to Exxon.  

The second worst finisher was Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , which dropped every trading day and ended the week with a 1.9% loss. With interest rates moving higher, it's possible that investors who had switched to safe equities -- such as stable, dividend-paying blue chip P&G -- are moving back to bonds. This past week, the 10-year Treasury bond settled in at a 3% yield, while the 30-year T-bond rose to 3.93%. P&G currently yields 3%.

And coming in third was Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , down 1.52%. The telecom giant lost most of its value on Friday, after AT&T announced that it will begin offering up to $450 to T-Mobile customers who switch to AT&T's Next plan and buy a phone at full retail price. The move has some observers believing that Verizon will need to make a similar offer or lose out on a potentially large amount of business. It's tough when the competition makes a move and you're essentially forced to follow suit, but that's where Verizon appears to find itself.  

The other Dow losers this week:

  • 3M, down 0.64%
  • AT&T, down 1.08%
  • Caterpillar, down 1.15%
  • Chevron, down 0.7%
  • Cisco, down 0.18%
  • DuPont, down 0.73%
  • General Electric, down 1.25%
  • Johnson & Johnson, down 0.54%
  • McDonald's, down 0.38%
  • Merck, down 0.12%
  • Microsoft, down 1.01%
  • Nike, down 0.16%
  • Pfizer, down 0.39%
  • Coca-Cola, down 0.49%
  • Travelers, down 0.76

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  • Report this Comment On January 05, 2014, at 11:46 AM, drpearso wrote:

    The news about Exxon partnering with Russia is not a reason for Exxon dropping over the past days. The JV partnership with Russia has been known and in the news for some time now. And the partnership that Exxon has had with Russia for over a decade on the Sakhalin islands has worked out fine since Exxon kept the project on time, actually ahead of time. Exxon's technical skills were needed on the Sakhalin Island project.

    Exxon drilled the longest horizontal well ever in order to reach fields located in the open ocean. The drill rig was located on the Sakhalin Island approximately 7 miles from the open ocean fields.

    The Kara Sea JV project is not new as Exxon has had their Geoscience staff working in Russia for over a year. Now it is time to fulfill their JV agreement to drill a well in the Kara Sea. for those who do not know where the Kara Sea is, it is where the Russians set off the largest nuclear device every on this planet.

    Thus I find it hard to believe that the drop in Exxon over the last few days is due to their JV partnership with Russia since this has been known for sometime. My own assumption is that Exxon dropped due to the many people buying Exxon in response to the large position that Warren Buffett bought in Exxon during the 3rd quarter of 2013. Buffett paid about $85 to $86 per share, and since that time the shares have run up over $100 per share. This pull back is warranted due to the fast run up after the Buffett news. Regards.

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Matt Thalman

Matt primarily covers the Dow Components, the Major Indexes daily moves, Consumer Goods stocks, and General Investing Topics.

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