The Dow Jones Industrial Average
What was it that had markets running for the hills today? Europe. Again. Sound familiar? It's the same tune we've been hearing all year, just with a different tempo. Yields on Spanish bonds rose to 7.5% in midday trading, a seriously dangerous level considering Spanish officials have said that anything above 7% is unsuitable for them to effectively recover. Not only that, but Europe's favorite whipping boy, Greece, now appears closer than ever to exiting the eurozone.
The big loser
In concert with poor news from Europe, McDonald's
What this means for the Dow
As an index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is perhaps the most sensitive to global headwinds. Each component is a massive blue chip that cut its teeth domestically and now has some measure of direct or indirect global exposure. This is more true for some components, like McDonald's, than others. Cisco
This exposure is a reality for investing in these companies. Long-term investors need to both brace for the unpredictable headwinds, and embrace the inevitable tailwinds. Looking to the Dow in particular, some components such as Boeing, Caterpillar
Currencies will swing up, and they will swing down. Right now the euro continues to slide against the U.S. dollar, making those segments artificially weaker for these companies and taking a bite out of earnings. But the patient investor knows that at some point weak currencies strengthen and strong currencies weaken with the natural ebb and flow of economies. If you're looking at investing in any Dow component today, make sure you're aware of each company's exposure to weak markets like Europe, and slowing markets like China. Right now, a U.S.-biased company may be the safest place for your money, but over the long run these pressures will ease and great companies will continue to be great investments. That's why I'm not particularly worried as a shareholder of McDonald's and am willing to wait out the company's significant European position.
The best Dow picks
One great way to justify waiting out economic ebbs and flows is by investing in great dividends, and the Dow is full of them. Some of the market's best income-producing stocks are found there, and you can learn about The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need. Uncovering these top picks is totally free today. I've put my own money on one of them, but all three are incredible stocks for any investor to own.
Austin Smith owns shares of McDonald's. The Motley Fool owns shares of McDonald's and Cisco Systems. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of McDonald's. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.