The Dow Turns Its Frown Upside Down

A triple-digit decline in early trading was quickly erased on Wall Street.

Travis Hoium
Travis Hoium
Sep 4, 2012 at 12:00AM

It looked as if we were going to start September with a very bad day, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) crossed under the 13,000 mark in trading this morning. But investors' spirits picked up as the day went on. At the close of trading, the Dow had fallen only 0.42%, and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) was down just 0.12%, a mild decline for the day. So what changed since the Institute for Supply Management's announcement of the weakest Employment Index since November 2009 drove the market lower this morning? It may have been a mild case of iPhone mania.

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) seemed to drag stocks higher after it officially announced its Sept. 12 event, which will probably be an introduction of the iPhone 5. Dow component Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) followed Apple's lead, rising 1.75% today on speculation that the company will be the big winner if the iPhone 5 is a hit. The iPhone 5 has been anticipated for a long time, and while the announcement isn't a huge surprise, it was a confirmation of rumors that have swirled through the blogosphere for months.

Gold was the other big mover today, rising 2.5% on more expected stimulus from the Federal Reserve. If the Fed decides to do another round of quantitative easing, the gold bugs think it will give the shiny metal another bump as the money supply increases.

I wouldn't read too much into the Dow's up and down movements this early in the week. The big employment numbers come out on Friday, and that's when the real excitement begins. Data has shown a slowing economy as we careen toward a fiscal cliff, and if today's data is any indication, I would expect economic indicators to decline slightly as we make a snail's-paced economic recovery.

Until then, see how Apple will continue to drive its sales, and potentially the entire market, higher this year. Our Apple analyst has the answers in a new premium report on the tech giant. Find out more about this premium service.