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.
With fear that China and emerging markets around the world are beginning to experience an economic slowdown, and concerns that the Federal Open Market Committee may decide to taper even more of its asset purchase program next week at its first meeting of 2014, the major U.S. indexes are all heading dramatically lower today. As of 1 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down 202 points, or 1.25%, while the S&P 500 is off by 1.35% and the Nasdaq is lower by 1.54%.
Inside the Dow, today's biggest winner so far is Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG)as shares are up 2.44% after the company reported second-quarter earnings. The company was expected to post revenue of $22.33 billion and earnings per share of $1.20, but instead reported revenue of $22.28 billion and EPS of $1.21. While these numbers aren't overly impressive, investors are pushing up the price of the stock because of the confidence CEO A.G. Lafley has for the consumer goods company's earnings growth potential in the second half of its fiscal year. It is believed that foreign exchange rates will be more favorable in the coming quarters, while strong top-line growth and a more efficient operation will help increase earnings.
One big Dow loser today is Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), as shares are trading 1.81% lower. The drop is likely just the result of the overall market falling today and not an individual problem with the company. Stifel Nicolaus actually even increased its price target on the stock this morning from $76 to $85, but the stock is still moving lower this afternoon. Sometimes macro events move stocks irrationally, but shareholders need to remain calm and if anything add to their positions at this time of opportunity.
Outside the Dow, shares of controversial Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) are tanking once again today. The stock is down more than 16% over the past month and today's 5.16% decline certainly is not helping investors any. In 2012, activist investor Bill Ackman made a case that the company was nothing more than a pyramid scheme. That was big news at the time, but the stock price rose in the face of the claim as others rallied behind the stock. Recently, the Chinese government stated that would investigate a similar company called Nu Skin on suspicion that it may also be a pyramid scheme, which started Herbalife's recent tumble. To make things worse, this week U.S. Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.) aired similar suspicions about the Herbalife's business model. If it is indeed found to be a pyramid scheme, the stock will likely go to zero, so investors need to be careful with this one.
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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Procter & Gamble and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney and has the following options: long January 2015 $50 calls on Herbalife Ltd.. 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.