A lack of positive economic data and nervous investors don't make a great mix. As market participants continue to worry about what the Federal Reserve may do with its stimulus programs, the markets are heading south this afternoon. As of 12:50 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down 63 points, or 0.41%, after opening up by more than 100 points this morning. The S&P 500 is lower by 0.44%, while the Nasdaq is down 0.65%.
A few Dow losers today
Shares of Verizon (NYSE:VZ) are down 0.2% this afternoon on the news that Vodafone -- its joint-venture partner in Verizon Wireless -- has offered $9.6 billion for German cable television company Kabel Deutschland. Earlier reports have indicated that Kabel is not interested in that price, but this looks like a good place for the two companies to start talking. This is likely hurting Verizon because Vodafone has a 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, and this deal may put a higher price tag on that share if Verizon wants to make a buyout deal.
Shares of IBM (NYSE:IBM) have dropped 1% following a report that the company is battling with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) over a $600 million contract to setup the CIA's cloud-computing system. IBM has long been the go-to supplier for this type of service, but as Amazon has built its own systems and proven itself in the IT world over the past few years, Big Blue now has some formidable competition. To lose the contract would be a huge blow to IBM but an even bigger boon to Amazon.
Shares of Chevron (NYSE:CVX) are down 1% after the company announced that it would attempt to sell its rights to two offshore oil fields near Nigeria. That part of the world currently has a number of oil fields on the selling block, so it's unlikely that Chevron will receive a premium for the rights. A number of the world's largest oil companies have all been slowly moving out of the region, as Nigeria's government is involved in the area's oil business, and many have claimed that it is overrun with corruption.