The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) rose to its ninth new intraday high for the month of March this morning, as investors felt a sigh of relief that leaders in Cyprus reached a deal to stave off a possible eurozone exit. But that sense of relief quickly turned sour and the Dow began a precipitous fall. Currently down 30 points, the Dow and 26 of its component stocks are in the red.
Biggest losers: Dow edition
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is leading the pack this morning with its 1.26% decline. The company has been on a steady descent since late January, with its monthly sales data releases spurring on increased concern due to consistent and rapid declines. Caterpillar is one of the largest manufacturers of heavy machinery, and with its key markets in Asia and America posing the greatest threat to growing sales, there is major concern among investors. The company has shown growth in its Latin American market, but the impact on overall growth is just too slight to make a difference. CAT was just awarded a contract by the Pentagon for $633 million that will run through March 2018, which may give the struggling company the boost it needs.
3M (NYSE:MMM) is down 1.12%, putting it in second place for the Dow's biggest loser so far today. The multifaceted company has been long admired for its innovation, strong balance sheet, and rising dividend. But some analysts believe that the company is at an impasse, with its innovation being stifled. And though some firms on Wall Street have raised 3M's target price, others have rated it as neutral, giving investors little to work with when trying to decide on their investment options.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is running in third place, with the bank down 1.11% so far in trading this morning. The bank had been making great headway early last week following its approved capital plan and good showing in the Fed's stress tests. But its gains were quickly cut when Freddie Mac announced a suit against 15 international banks for their participation in the rigging of LIBOR. BAC was named in the suit, just another in a long line of legal woes for the bank. With many investors believing that the legal troubles were mostly behind B of A, this was another blow to their confidence in the bank's resurgence. Analysts at Goldman Sachs recently stated that they prefer JPMorgan and Citigroup (NYSE:C) to Bank of America, with Citi receiving a "conviction buy" rating and a target-price increase, giving investors reason to drop their growing confidence in the BAC. The bank has been making great strides to convince investors that its brand is better, but it looks like it still has some work to do.