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.
Simply by looking at the major U.S. stock indexes today -- just before 1 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down 88 points, or 0.59%, the S&P 500 is off by 0.84%, and the NASDAQ is down 1.66% -- it's clear investors don't have a ton of confidence in Congress' ability to reach a compromise and end the gridlock that threatens to make the U.S. government default on its debt. However, the problems we're seeing now will likely give patient and long-term-oriented investors some wonderful buying opportunities, as the receding tide is lowering all boats. My Foolish colleague Dan Caplinger noted a few stocks investors should be watching if the situation continues to get worse.
But just because a stock is falling doesn't always mean it's a bargain or will head higher again down the road. For example, the Dow's two biggest losers today are both sinking based on developments that could materially affect their businesses for the long term.
Today's bad bunch
Share of Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) are down 1.2% today. The move could be a delayed reaction to news that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is attempting to create its own chip and bring its mobile, laptop, and desktop chip manufacturing all under one roof. This would be a major blow to Intel, which currently provides chips for Apple's Mac line of products and is attempting to crack into the mobile-chip market, which could include the iPhone and iPad.
IBM (NYSE:IBM) is currently off by 1.4% after it was reported that the company's attempt to reopen the bidding for a $600 million cloud-computing contract was denied by a Federal Claims judge today. Amazon.com's Amazon Web Services had outbid IBM earlier this year for a cloud-computing contract with the CIA ,and IBM claimed the bidding process was unfair, promoting the court hearings. However, while some investors may be selling because IBM lost the claim, the real news here is that IBM is no longer the top dog in technology and that competitors aren't afraid to test the old king of the jungle.
Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Apple, Intel, and Amazon.com. 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.
The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Apple, and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Intel, and International Business Machines. 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.