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August's Best Dow Stocks

Dan Caplinger
August 31, 2013

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.

August was an abysmal month for the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI), as the average closed the month with a loss of 690 points. The market hasn't dropped that dramatically since May 2012, but after an extended period of gains, even a correction of this magnitude shouldn't have surprised long-term investors. The potential for military action in the Middle East, combined with ongoing macroeconomic concerns throughout the globe, set the stage for falling stock markets.

With a 4% drop in the Dow, only one of its components was able to post a gain for the month. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) soared more than 5%, with almost all of the games coming in the wake of the decision by CEO Steve Ballmer to resign within the next year. Investors have been impatient with the sluggish pace of Microsoft's growth, as rivals take bigger and faster steps to capitalize on opportunities in the rapidly expanding mobile market. But even as bulls hope that a leadership change will produce better results, shareholders shouldn't assume that a new leader will magically find solutions to the tech giant's woes.