Boeing, AT&T, and Disney Drive Dow Lower

Uncertainty about the Federal Reserve and a few poor earnings outlooks pull the major indexes lower.

Jan 29, 2014 at 1:00PM

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 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's last meeting coming to an end this afternoon and investors anxiously waiting to hear what the central bank will do with its stimulus efforts, the major indexes are once again heading south. As of 1 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is off by 140 points, or 0.88%, while the S&P 500 is lower by 0.65% and the Nasdaq has been cut down by 0.63%.

These moves come after the three indexes ended a five-day losing streak yesterday; it would appear a new streak may be starting today. Along with uncertainty over the Fed's next moves, investors received some bad earnings reports this morning.

Aircraft manufacturer and Dow component Boeing (NYSE:BA) is one of the culprits. The company's earnings report showed $1.88 in earnings per share on revenue of $23.8 billion in the fourth quarter. Both revenue and earnings came in much better than last year, but shares of the company are down 6% due to a weaker than expected forecast by management. Boeing said it expects revenue to increase by 1%-2% in 2014, which is rather weak and not what investors want to hear. The stock is trading at 23 times earnings, or 17 times future expected results, and with a 1%-2% revenue increase that valuation is unlikely to get much better anytime soon unless the share price really falls.  

Shares of AT&T (NYSE:T) are also down nearly 2% this afternoon after the company released earnings and (like Boeing) gave weaker than expected guidance for the future. This comes even though the company reported better than expected sales and earnings for the past quarter. The guidance indicates management only believes it will grow adjusted earnings per share by the middle single-digit range, while revenue growth will only hit 2%-3% in 2014. Again, not the kind of growth investors want or expect from a stock trading at 24 times earnings.  

Shares of Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) have fallen 1.8% today, even without an earnings report. The move lower comes as the National Association of Theater Owners politely asked for shorter movie trailers before a film and that films are only advertised for five months prior to their release. The film studios and other groups are fighting these regulations, but it is clear that customers would like to see the marketing time reduced. Some have complained about the number and length of trailers before the film and that all that advertising takes away from the experience of going to the movies. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and if any changes come from it; if it does happen, it will likely cost the studios more money to market both at the theater and through other mediums.  

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Matt Thalman owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. 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.

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