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2 Surprising Companies Behind the Dow's Moves

By Dan Caplinger - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:03AM

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Apple's not one of them.

On the day after Apple announced earnings, most investors would have guessed that the tech giant would have been the primary focus of the stock market's moves this morning. Yet while Apple has certainly had an impact on trading, its muted share-price movements so far haven't inspired much interest.

Instead, many analysts pointed to a big drop in durable-goods orders that was more than double the decline economists had expected to see as the primary cause for a slight drop in stocks overall. As of 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (^DJI 0.03%) are down seven points, while the broader market has seen similarly negligible  changes.

For a couple of Dow stocks, however, the news wasn't nearly as neutral. AT&T (T 0.94%) has plunged more than 5% after disappointing investors with its quarterly report. Overall sales for the telecom giant fell 1.4%, with the wireless segment providing only 3.4% growth. The main problem for AT&T is that rival Verizon (VZ 0.88%) is seeing faster growth in its Verizon Wireless joint venture. Moreover, Verizon has almost caught up to AT&T in the number of iPhones it sells, and AT&T lags behind Verizon in total smartphone activations. Continuing disappointment could hurt AT&T's future prospects for the rest of the year and beyond, benefiting Verizon further.

Procter & Gamble (PG 0.06%) is the other big loser on the Dow, falling about 4.7%. The consumer giant beat earnings estimates but fell short on revenue, and it gave disappointing guidance for the current quarter. Slow growth continues to plague P&G, and even a bad flu season that helped boost health-care-related sales couldn't pull P&G's overall revenue up enough to satisfy investors who are worried about the company's lack of industry leadership in recent years.

Finally, outside the Dow, Unisys (UIS -0.77%) saw its shares lose nearly a quarter of their value after announcing a substantial loss. Although much of the hit to earnings came from Venezuela's recent devaluation of its currency and additional pension expense, weakness in its systems-integration and technology divisions led to a big drop in revenue. As much larger competitors start to concentrate more on IT services, Unisys will struggle to find a niche it can rely on to reawaken its growth prospects.

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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$31,261.90 (0.03%) $8.77
AT&T Inc. Stock Quote
AT&T Inc.
$20.40 (0.94%) $0.19
The Procter & Gamble Company Stock Quote
The Procter & Gamble Company
$141.79 (0.06%) $0.09
Verizon Communications Inc. Stock Quote
Verizon Communications Inc.
$49.53 (0.88%) $0.43
Unisys Corporation Stock Quote
Unisys Corporation
$11.63 (-0.77%) $0.09

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

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