The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) fell back this week from its record levels coming into the week, with an overall drop of just less than 100 points. For the most part, investors appeared to be in wait-and-see mode, looking forward to the beginning of the second-quarter earnings season for the latest reading on how well corporate profit margins will hold up and how much growth in revenue and net income they'll see. Among the more prominent stocks in the Dow were energy giant Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and entertainment king Disney (NYSE:DIS).
On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrials fell 10 points, reflecting the tug of war between concerns about the Dow's high valuations and enthusiasm about growth in the U.S. economy. But Tuesday's 119-point loss showed the vulnerability of the Dow, as even positive economic data showing reasonable strength in the housing market and strong levels of consumer confidence weren't enough to outweigh the negative influence of Chevron and other energy stocks on the overall market. With energy having led the market higher throughout much of the past couple of months, the reversal of fortune in the sector led some to lose confidence in the market as a whole.
Wednesday brought troubling numbers on the economic front, as U.S. gross domestic product for the first quarter was revised downward to a drop of 2.9%. That reflected the poor winter conditions that market participants are already well aware of, and in part because of that lack of surprise, the Dow managed to reclaim almost 50 points' worth of their losses that day.
Thursday and Friday showed similar patterns. Investors initially sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average to fairly substantial losses early in the day, but gradually, the Dow recovered to much more moderate declines. On Thursday, the Dow fell 21 points, while the Dow actually gained ground on Friday to end the week on an up note.
Dow stock of the week: Disney
Disney bucked the downward trend in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, climbing 3% on the week. The entertainment giant got several pieces of good news. First, the Supreme Court ruled against free-broadcast service Aereo this week, upholding a lower-court decision that said that Disney's ABC and other broadcasters retain the rights to their content even though they send them over the airwaves for Aereo and others to capture for themselves.
Even more impressively, Disney scored a coup with its ESPN sports network with the World Cup. Games with the U.S. men's national team against Portugal and Germany earned extremely strong ratings, validating Disney's move to gamble with a sport that has had more difficulty catching on in the U.S. than in the rest of the world. The week affirmed Disney's place atop the content-generation industry, and its share-price gains reflect enthusiasm about the rule of ESPN, ABC, and other networks in Disney's overall profits.
Dan Caplinger owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron and Walt Disney and owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.