The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) gave up literally every point it gained yesterday, slumping 106 points, or 0.7%, to close at 15,302. Further concern about how long the current pace of quantitative easing will last drove stocks lower. Also not helping was the International Monetary Fund's trimmed forecasts for China's growth going forward, as Coke stock led the index's decline.
Reaching a 52-week high in trading today, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) failed to get the bearish memo, as it added 2.4%. The market continued to digest yesterday's IDC report that forecast a weakening but not completely horrendous future for personal computers. Though by 2017 PC shipments will be far outnumbered by tablet sales, 333 million are still projected to ship that year, which is no small number.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) added 1% today as data showed that the first quarter of this year was the most profitable quarter ever for U.S. banks. With earnings rising nearly 16% year over year, the industry made a whopping $40 billion in the first three months of 2013. Prospects continue to look up for U.S. banks, as they settle litigation related to the financial crisis; Citigroup settled a big case related to mortgage-backed securities it sold in the depths of the recession.
Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which avoided the telecom decline yesterday, lost 2.5% today. Tuesday's commotion over Google Fiber, the search giant's attempt to enter the cable marketplace, sent rival AT&T lower. The concerns apparently spread to Verizon today, offsetting excitement over the newest phones to debut on Verizon's newer, faster network.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) shares slumped 2.7%, as Wall Street showed its disappointment with a worker strike in Venezuela that has already cut into its sales in the country by 15% this month. Coke's stock was the largest decliner in the blue-chip index on a day that saw the entire consumer goods sector fall 1.5%. Shares may be entering prime territory for income investors, as the dividend currently sits at 2.7%.
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