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.
It was surely a wild ride on Wall Street today. The markets opened, and almost immediately the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) began to fall. It bottomed out down 148 points, and then didn't hesitate to climb back into the black around 11 a.m. EDT. It then traded within a 50-point range for the remainder of the day, until just before the closing bell rang, when it slid back into the red, and finished the session down almost 15 points, or 0.1%. The two other major indexes also had similar charts, but they managed to stay in the green for the session as the S&P 500 closed higher by 0.01%, and the Nasdaq gained 0.03%.
The jobs report, which was released this morning, certainly played a role in the roller-coaster ride today. The 169,000 jobs created in August missed the 180,000 number that economists had been expecting. But, the unemployment rate did fall to 7.3%, from 7.4%.
The losers of the day
Shares of IBM (NYSE:IBM) fell 0.61% today. The fall could be related to the second report this week indicating that Hewlett-Packard had won a large IT services contract. Earlier in the week, it was announced that HP had signed a deal with Cerner, an IT health-care giant, and today, it was reported that HP signed a deal with the Department of Defense for a three-year contract. The DOD contract is to provide personal security management and other IT services. Both of these deals show that IBM has likely lost its edge over the competition, and that sales may begin taking a hit in the future.
The other tech stock hurting the Dow today was Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), which lost 0.59%. The move came despite the company announcing that it was gearing up for the release of its NCS 6000 -- which is a core router and optical transport platform made to handle large amounts of traffic with different IP addresses. The new equipment is to help combat problems associated with increased traffic caused by smartphones and tablets. Some also believe the new router may help the company get back on track after a poor second quarter.
The two oil companies that declined today are ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX), which fell by 0.11% and 0.13%, respectively. These moves lower come as the Syrian conflict -- and whether or not the U.S. will enter into the fray -- becomes even more confusing. This morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin told others at the G20 Conference that if the U.S. strikes Syria, Russia will back the Syrians. The vote from Congress didn't come this week either and, with very strong opinions on either side of the case, it's hard to tell whether the strike will be voted yay, or nay. What is clear, though, is that a strike from the U.S. will likely send gasoline prices higher, at least for a short period of time.
More foolish insight
Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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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