Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Behind Today's Dreary Dow

By John Divine - Apr 18, 2013 at 6:09PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Weak manufacturing, and fallout from poor results hit blue chips again.

Markets slipped Thursday after unflattering manufacturing numbers shed doubts on the strength of the economic recovery. As companies seek to lower inventories, production in New York and Philadelphia slipped, and with sub-2% annual GDP growth projected in the second quarter, Wall Street didn't have much to applaud today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.55%) lost 81 points, or about 0.6%, to close at 14,537. 

Leading the index today was Verizon Communications (VZ 1.56%), which added 2.8% to lead the Dow. The company owns 55% of Verizon Wireless, with the other 45% owned by telecom peer Vodafone. Verizon's first quarter results today, which saw revenue rise 6.8% to nearly $20 billion, gave investors hope that this financial stability will allow it to buy out Vodafone's stake and gain full ownership of Verizon Wireless.

Chip maker Intel (INTC -1.16%) ended as one of the Dow's brighter spots, as well. Taking a cue from rival Advanced Micro Devices, Intel tacked on 1.4% after AMD issued a sunny forecast that beat analyst projections. Hearing a positive outlook from an industry peer offered some validation of Intel's own optimistic expectations, which surprised the markets on Tuesday, sending shares 2.5% higher.

Lest we forget the dismal performance of the markets Thursday, UnitedHealth Group (UNH 0.36%) offered one sober reminder of why they fell, as it tumbled 3.8%. The largest health insurer in the U.S. issued guidance of its own, cautioning that budget cuts would negatively impact earnings this year. The ensuing anxiety about what effects the sequester would have on other health insurers even sent shares in some of UnitedHealth's rivals into bearish territory.

Lastly, Bank of America's (BAC -1.48%) 2.2% slide today marks continued fallout from its quarterly call, which resulted in shares plummeting nearly 5% yesterday. No one doubts that B of A is in better shape than it was a year ago; the company is shoring up its balance sheet and addressing litigation from the financial crisis. But a sluggish showing from its mortgage banking business in the first quarter is a major reason for the bank's two-day slump.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$31,705.60 (-0.55%) $-174.64
Bank of America Corporation Stock Quote
Bank of America Corporation
$35.34 (-1.48%) $0.53
Intel Corporation Stock Quote
Intel Corporation
$41.52 (-1.16%) $0.48
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Stock Quote
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated
$493.85 (0.36%) $1.77
Verizon Communications Inc. Stock Quote
Verizon Communications Inc.
$50.45 (1.56%) $0.78

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/24/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.