Today was a mixed day for the markets, with the Dow ending in the negative, the S&P virtually flat, and the Nasdaq closing up.


Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) -13.02 (-0.10%) 12,449.45
Nasdaq +8.26 +0.31% 2,710.76
S&P 500 +0.40 +0.03%) 1,292.48

With the Dow being the only index to close the day out in the red, investors are probably wondering who's to blame. Fortunately, we have the data to point fingers, and today we're looking at Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS), Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), and Chevron (NYSE: CVX) as the biggest anchors.

The class dunces
Coca-Cola fell 1.9% after UBS downgraded it to neutral from a buy. The major reasons UBS cited were currency headwinds related to a strengthening dollar. UBS also pointed to a slightly high valuation and slowing growth in sales volumes, a key metric for beverage companies. Stock-price targets have been lowered to $70 from $73. The larger industry is seeing some difficulties related to commodity prices and slowing growth.

Then again, Coca-Cola is a longtime holding of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B), so it still has a great fan base. Buffett has cited the wide economic moat inherent in Coke's massive, and expensive, distribution network as just one of the great reasons to hold the stock.

Disney fell an uncharacteristic 2.4% through the day today. A major factor was the low ratings for its college football championship game. The contest, which is aired on Disney's ESPN unit, brought in its lowest ratings since 2005. It is generally accepted that the future of content delivery will be streaming, which would seem to jeopardize a broadcast-focused Disney.

However, the company has made a wise first move into the streaming arena by inking a content deal with Google. The deal would provide exclusive content to be distributed through Google's YouTube channel. It's encouraging to see a stalwart company like that thinking outside its traditional space and prepping for the future.

Rounding out the losers today is Chevron's 1.2% drop. The company is also trading 1.9% lower in after-hours trading. It reported that fourth-quarter 2011 earnings are expected to be significantly below Q3 2011 results.

Looking past one up day
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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.