The past week or so has been a rough one for the Dow Jones Industrials
But to get some insight on what's happening with the Dow, it's often helpful to turn to the other two Dow averages: the Dow Jones Transports
Admittedly, five days is so short a time period as to be nearly meaningless in the long run. But what's perhaps most interesting is that even after the Transports followed the Industrials lower on Thursday, the Transports failed to recover any of their gains on Friday.
Still, a lot of that underperformance may simply come from the stocks in question. The big losers in the Transports today, for example, are Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines
Utilities are also down today, but largely because of one stock: Williams
You can't draw any dire conclusions about the performance of the Transports and Utilities compared to the Industrials just yet. But unless one of the Dow averages steps up to assume a leadership role soon, the entire market could be in for a choppy ride.
Keep sight of the big picture
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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Southwest Airlines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.