Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
After hitting fresh all-time highs last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has now closed lower three consecutive days in a row. The blue-chip index lost 48 points, or 0.31%, today and now rests at 15,470. The S&P 500 declined 0.38% while the Nasdaq shed 0.32% this afternoon.
Today's decline comes with very little new economic news hitting the markets. But despite receiving positive housing data today, shares of Home Depot (NYSE:HD) moved lower by 1.52%. The housing information was the weekly mortgage application data released from the Mortgage Bankers Association, which indicated that last week we experienced a 0.2% rise in mortgage application activity. This means that applications for new mortgages saw a slight uptick after a big decline last week, but we have still experienced a decline in activity in four of the last five weeks as interest rates continue to move higher. As a company that is tied to the housing industry, it may experience some volatility as the industry slowly recovers from its massive losses in 2008.
Another big loser today was Alcoa (NYSE:AA) as shares declined 1.14%. There wasn't a ton of news pertaining to the stock to cause it to move lower, but it did go ex-dividend this morning. The company currently pays a dividend of $0.03 per share on a quarterly basis, giving the stock a dividend yield of 1.5%, and since its current share price is so low, the $0.03 decline amounted to one-third of today's slide. Alcoa has struggled in recent years as increased supply has hurt aluminum prices around the world, but it is promising that the company has maintained at least some remnants of its dividend, which was cut from $0.17 per share to its current amount back in 2009.
And rounding out the top three Dow losers of the day is Walt-Disney (NYSE:DIS), which lost 1.7%. The company reported earnings yesterday after the closing bell, and it missed on revenue but beat on earnings per share. This surely wasn't what investors wanted to see on the sales side, and to make matters worse, Disney will take a $190 million writedown related to The Lone Ranger, which was a massive box office blow-up. But the thing about the writedown is that it wasn't taken in the second quarter, it will be mixed into results for the third quarter. So essentially, we can think of Disney starting the second half of the year already down $190 million.
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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Walt Disney. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513.
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