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.
The stock market's big rally this week finally ran out of gas today, as investors appeared to stop concentrating on favorable economic data from around the world and instead focused on how a current batch of uncertain events will play out in the next week or two. Markets could suffer from potential negative surprises as a result of U.S. negotiations to try to resolve the Syrian conflict with military action, as well as from any unexpected moves from the Federal Reserve in its efforts to manage the pace of its eventual exit from its stimulus actions. After multiple attempts to rally, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) finally finished the day down almost 26 points, while broader market measures had similarly modest declines.
Among Dow components, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) suffered the biggest losses, falling nearly 2%. Higher interest rates have predictably caused a big drop in mortgage originations within the banking sector, with both JPMorgan and rival Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) separately noting the impact of higher rates on long-term trends in their respective mortgage businesses. If the Fed ends up moving forward as expected by stepping back from its purchases of mortgage-backed securities later this year, it could send mortgage rates even higher, exacerbating the industry's woes.
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) once again found itself on the losing side of the tape, falling another 1.4% as it counts down its remaining days within the Dow. On top of all the other uncertainty the tech company has faced in its restructuring, the final resolution of rival Dell's leveraged buyout will inevitably present even more difficulties for HP in navigating the rapidly evolving industry. Dell's planned strategy to invest more in the PC business could force HP to accelerate its attempts to diversify its own business mix, and that sense of urgency might derail what has been a slow but steady turnaround strategy thus far.
Finally, outside the Dow, 3-D printing company ExOne (NASDAQ:XONE) plunged another 11%, adding to losses from earlier in the month after it announced a secondary offering of shares. The offering involved about $165 million in stock, but less than half of that money went to the company, as 1.55 million of the 2.66 million shares sold were owned by current shareholders selling off their stock. That vote of no confidence didn't ring well with investors, and in combination with a flurry of similar secondary offerings both within and outside the 3-D printing industry, ExOne investors bid shares well below the $62 per share fetched in the offering.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns warrants on Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of ExOne and Wells Fargo. It also owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.