The Movers Behind Today's Dow Drop

International macroeconomic concerns and company-specific quality issues play part in decline

John Divine
John Divine
Feb 11, 2013 at 6:00PM

The markets slowed down a bit today, as light volume and modest declines displayed a cautious attitude on Wall Street. Fearing revived European debt issues, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) fell 21 points, or 0.16%, to close at 13,971.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) led today's blue-chip performers, gaining 1.1% two days after the highest-priced of the company's new Surface Pro tablets sold out within hours of coming out. The 128 GB devices, which retail for $999, were ostensibly so popular that Microsoft grossly underestimated the overwhelming demand. A more cynical observer might posit that maybe there weren't a ton of the 128 GB models to begin with, and Microsoft knew the meager supply wouldn't be enough to meet the slightly less-meager demand. 

Meanwhile, Boeing (NYSE:BA) continues to deal with issues from its Dreamliner 787 fiasco, as the company conducted a second round of flight tests measuring the Dreamliner's performance on Monday. Boeing shares fell 0.9% today, as investors heard airplane industry experts such as International Airline Group's CEO Willie Walsh predict that Boeing will need to redesign its battery, in a process that could take "a couple of months." For future reference: Cutting corners doesn't work so well if you're an aerospace company. 

Although chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) has lost almost two-thirds of its market cap in the past year, shares have rallied nearly 30% in the past three months alone, shortly after announcing restructuring initiatives in October. Investors have thus far been pleased with AMD's vow to "simplify product development cycles," fund promising opportunities, and "reduce our breakeven point."

Closing out the day, shares in online gaming business Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) rocketed 7%, continuing the remarkable rally Zynga shareholders have witnessed in the past week. After shocking Wall Street last Tuesday, when the company reported profits, shares took off. Today's impressive gains are run-of-the-mill when taken in context with other daily gains in the past five trading days, which has sent shares 44% higher.