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Caterpillar, Rite Aid, and J.C. Penney Stumble One Day After Market Rally

Matt Thalman
December 19, 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.

The day after the markets rallied on the Federal Reserve announcement that it would begin tapering its bond-buying program, they are heading in the opposite direction today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) finished trading Wednesday up 292 points, or 1.84%, while the S&P 500 gained 1.66% and the Nasdaq rose 1.15%. As of 1 p.m. EST today, the Dow is down four points, or 0.02%, the S&P 500 is off by 0.16% and the Nasdaq has fallen 0.34%.

Today's move lower could be caused by a number of things, certainly including higher-than-expected initial unemployment claims. Analysts expected claims to come in around 337,000 for last week, but they actually hit 369,000. The unemployment picture was one of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's big talking points yesterday in public comments after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting ended. So this is certainly not one metric investors want to see perform poorly.

Let's take a look at a few individual stocks and see why they are joining the major indices in heading in the wrong direction.

Dow component Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) is one of the bigger losers of the day as shares have fallen 0.80%. The drop comes after the company announced retail sales for heavy machines for the last three months had fallen 12% when compared to the same time frame last year. During the period, sales fell 24% in the Asia-Pacific market;16% in the European, African, and Middle East market; 2% in North America; and 17% in the rest of the world. Caterpillar has been struggling with declining