September has historically been the worst month of the year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Yet if the current trend continues, this year will serve as an exception. After only one week of trading, the index is already up by 1.6%. The figure looks particularly impressive when you examine its components. Of the 30 stocks tracked by the Dow, a full 28 of them are up for the month, leaving only two in the red.
What follows, in turn, is a look at the two stocks with the ignominious distinction of being down.
1. Kraft Foods
Leading the way down was Kraft Foods, the proprietor of popular consumer brands such as Oreo, Oscar Mayer, and Maxwell House coffee, which saw its shares fall by 3.3% for the week. Notably, all of the decline occurred on Friday, when shares in the company plummeted by 5.5%.
The impetus for the move was the company's forward earnings guidance for the time period following the impending divestiture of its grocery business. On Oct. 1, Kraft will split into two companies. One, named Mondelez International, will house its global snack business. The other, retaining the original handle, will hold its North American grocery operations.
For the snack division, the company expects net revenue growth of 5% to 7% and 2013 operating earnings per share of $1.50 to $1.55, the latter figure being below some analysts' estimates. For its grocery division, the company has predicted long-term EPS growth in the mid- to high single digits. Needless to say, this didn't resonate with analysts, either.
The other Dow stock to finish the week down was Intel, which saw its shares decline by 0.33% over the past five days. The impetus for the decline was downgraded forward guidance -- a move foretold by our own Evan Niu.
In an announcement released on Friday, the chipmaker noted: "[T]hird-quarter revenue is expected to be below the company's previous outlook as a result of weaker than expected demand in a challenging macroeconomic environment. The company now expects third-quarter revenue to be $13.2 billion, plus or minus $300 million, compared to the previous expectation of $13.8 billion to $14.8 billion."
In an ominous sign for the personal-computer industry, Intel listed three factors that are weighing on future performance. First, its customers are reducing inventory at a time when they typically grow it. Second, there's "softness" in the enterprise PC business. And third, demand from the emerging markets is slowing.
After the announcement, shares of other players in this space followed suit. Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard
Look for safe stocks to buy today?
At the end of the day, the unpredictability of stocks leaves many investors wanting of sleep. If you're one of those and are looking for ways to escape the rat race of an increasingly volatile market, the best way to do so is by investing in strong, well-diversified companies that pay a respectable dividend. A handful of companies that fit this description are outlined in our recently released free report about three Dow companies every dividend investor needs. Simply download your free copy of this report before it's too late.