The thing about the budget cuts that are set to go into effect today is this: the markets knew they were coming. Unshaken, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) added 35 points, or 0.25%, closing at 14,089.
After outperforming all other stocks in the Dow in 2012, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) has underperformed this year. One of only three stocks in the blue chip index that's down in 2013, B of A didn't have such a bad day today, rising 1%. It's not shocking that a stock considered nearly 80% more volatile than the broader market rose more than the rest of the market today. Longer-term though, budget cuts could hurt domestic growth -- and, therefore, banks -- by as much as 0.5% per year.
The U.S. isn't the only area of the world dealing with growth issues. Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) lost 1.1%, after worries arose yesterday about the company's European business. Caterpillar's Belgian subsidiary had to permanently cut 1,400 jobs because of an abysmal demand environment in the entire continent.Not a good sign.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) just can't seem to catch a break; the stock set a new 52-week-low today, losing 2.5%, to close around $430 on Friday. Not only did an analyst lower expectations for the tech giant's earnings today, but a California judge cut the remuneration that the iPhone maker is entitled to from rival Samsung, by $450 million. The judge reduced the $1.05 billion ruling after claiming Samsung deserves a new trial.
Finally, some good news for shareholders: The innovative medical equipment company Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) added 8.5% on Friday. Fears began to quickly subside just a day after the company shed 11% of its market cap on news that the Food and Drug Administration was going to examine the company. Today's optimistic sentiment is the result of a flurry of analysts minimizing the potential financial impact such an investigation could do to the company.