It was a solid week for U.S. stocks overall, with all three major indices finishing the week in the black, helped up by an encouraging report today on consumer spending data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
But the Dow's strong performance couldn't stop some companies from ending the week in the red.
Percent Change This Week
Bank of America
Ironically, the stock that has been by far the quarter's biggest gainer was one of this week's biggest losers. Bank of America, up an astonishing 72% this quarter, was down nearly 3% on the week. The company is one of the Dow's most sensitive to the overall economy, and that's not a good thing on a week when we saw more fears about Europe and some forecasts calling for an end to our slow economic expansion.
Verizon was the biggest loser on the Dow this week, down 3%. Despite operating in a relative duopoly in the U.S. wireless market with AT&T, the companies could still be vulnerable to smaller companies offering some wireless services for free. One such smaller competitor, Clearwire
Finally, construction-equipment behemoth Caterpillar lost 1.2% on the week. The company had a terrible day on Wednesday, on which it lost 3.5% after a disappointing U.S. durable-goods report, combined with a crude oil reading that generated concern about the global economy, helped doom the stock.
The big picture
While it's important to pay close attention to the market, it's also important to not to get too worked up about what happens in the short term. The most successful stock picks are usually great businesses that can grow and continue to succeed over many years. Our analysts have uncovered one such company in our new report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." It highlights a company that is revolutionizing commerce in Latin America. You can get instant access to the name of this company -- it's absolutely free.