On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) looked poised to break their four-day winning streak, falling 95 points as of 11 a.m. EDT. Many market commentators pointed to a World Bank report in which researchers cut their 2014 growth estimate for the global economy from 3.2% to 2.8%. The primary concern comes from the threat of higher interest rates, with the Federal Reserve having eased up on its quantitative-easing bond-purchase activity. Higher rates could hurt earnings among debt-laden companies, as well as giving investors a viable alternative to the stock market for income, and that threat likely gave investors cause to pause the Dow's recent record run. Among the worst performers in the Dow were Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Nike (NYSE:NKE).
Boeing fell more than 2% after getting an analyst downgrade. Interestingly, though, the Dow component's primary rival, Airbus, was getting even worse news this morning, as major airline Emirates canceled an order for 70 of its A350 aircraft. At this point, it's unclear whether the airline will replace that order with a contract for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner or its 777 or 777X models, although Emirates has made big orders for Boeing aircraft in the recent past. With analysts justifying their cut on Boeing due largely to valuation, the key for the aerospace giant remains making good on its impressive order backlog and taking advantage of whatever moves it can make to efficiently make deliveries as quickly as possible.
Nike dropped 1.7% on the eve of the first game of the 2014 World Cup. Last week, researchers at Cannacord suggested that pre-World Cup hype has historically made Nike shares rise in the months leading up to the tournament, but that the stock has underperformed during and immediately following the end of the World Cup finals. Nike might also be under pressure today simply because the stock has seen impressive growth and trades at a fairly high valuation compared to the rest of the Dow Jones Industrials. As talk of a potential correction for the Dow gets louder -- as it inevitably will even after just a single day's minor pullback -- Nike and other high-growth stocks will take the brunt of the negative commentary from investors.
It might be disappointing for many to see the Dow Jones Industrials fall from record highs, but long-term investors know that periodic declines are inevitable. The smart response is to incorporate the potential for ups and downs into your overall investing strategy, letting you take advantage of bargains when they appear while avoiding major emotion-driven moves to your entire portfolio.
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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Nike. The Motley Fool owns shares of Nike. 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.