After a loss of more than 300 points yesterday, you'd hope that the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) would be able to put in at least a mild bounce today. But despite a drop in initial unemployment claims and a narrowing of the U.S. trade deficit, investors continue to worry about the many macroeconomic and geopolitical concerns across the globe. As of 10:45 a.m. EST, the Dow is down 31 points, and the broader indexes followed suit, trading down about a quarter-percent as well.
Among individual stocks, Disney (NYSE:DIS) rose 0.7% in advance of its earnings release after the bell. Yet although investors will undoubtedly look to see whether the company manages to meet expectations of roughly 15% growth in earnings per share, they'll most likely focus to a much greater extent on any further guidance Disney provides about the future impact of its recent acquisition of Lucasfilm.
Oil stocks were lower again, with Chevron (NYSE:CVX) down almost 1% and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) down 0.25% after yesterday's plunge. Oil prices bounced back about $0.60 per barrel, but that's not particularly significant after crude's loss of nearly $4 on Tuesday. If the macroeconomic picture remains cloudy, then weakening energy demand could push prices down further, and that will spell bad news for Exxon, Chevron, and other oil giants.
Finally, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) has risen 0.4% after revealing details of its holiday shopping strategy. With its decision to start Black Friday four hours early, at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Wal-Mart is escalating the race to snag deal-hungry shoppers as quickly as possible. It's likely that other retailers will follow suit, especially with many of them still struggling with inventory issues and other problems.