Morning Dow Report: How China's Hurting the Dow Today

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

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.

Much of the time, the U.S. stock market is the first to rise or fall when market-moving news hits, leaving foreign stock markets to follow in its wake. Today, though, China asserted its new role as a major global economic powerhouse, with many analysts blaming a poor reading on the country's manufacturing sector for the big drop in the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) . The HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing-managers index reading for China came in at 49.6 for January, indicating the potential for contraction in the industry. That sent stocks falling around the world, and the Dow was down 175 points as of 11 a.m. EST.

Declines in the Dow came from across the board, with only a handful of stocks managing to climb. Two of them were telecom giants AT&T (NYSE: T  ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , which respectively gained 0.6% and 0.4%. Both companies have focused almost all of their resources on the U.S. wireless market, and although they do have some international growth prospects, the impact of further sluggishness in the Chinese economy doesn't affect them to nearly the same extent as companies with more direct connections to China.

Some of the worst losses came from companies that arguably have the most to lose from falling Chinese growth. Credit card giants Visa (NYSE: V  ) and American Express (NYSE: AXP  )  posted respective losses of 1.6% and 2.3%, weighing the potential fallout on their respective customer bases from weakness in China. For American Express, which relies on higher-end card members for much of its revenue, strong economic growth throughout Asia has fueled growth both from new prospective customers there and from existing customers with travel interests in the region. Similarly, Visa has hoped to cash in on international growth as it aims to hold off its main rival and its greater focus overseas.

It's far too early to overreact to a single reading on the Chinese economy, and the moves in the Dow and some of its worst-performing components today could well prove short-lived. Nevertheless, today's market shifts are a good reminder to investors that you have to pay attention to what's happening outside the U.S. in order to have a complete picture of what could push your portfolio up or down on any given day.

Don't fear a falling market
Opportunities to get wealthy from a single investment don't come around often, but they do exist even when markets head lower, and our chief technology officer believes he's found one. In this free report, Jeremy Phillips shares the single company that he believes could transform not only your portfolio, but your entire life. To learn the identity of this stock for free and see why Jeremy is putting more than $100,000 of his own money into it, all you have to do is click here now.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

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.

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: 2806287, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/31/2015 5:53:00 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...

Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,528.03 -114.98 -0.69%
S&P 500 1,972.18 -16.69 -0.84%
NASD 4,776.51 -51.82 -1.07%

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

8/31/2015 4:57 PM
^DJI $16528.03 Down -114.98 -0.69%
AXP $76.72 Up +0.07 +0.09%
American Express CAPS Rating: ****
T $33.20 Down -0.09 -0.27%
AT&T CAPS Rating: ****
V $71.30 Down -1.16 -1.60%
Visa CAPS Rating: ****
VZ $46.01 Down -0.06 -0.13%
Verizon Communicat… CAPS Rating: ****