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.
With Ben Bernanke's last Federal Open Market Committee meeting ending in about one hour, the major indexes are mixed as investors flip-flop on whether the central bank is going to begin paring back its $85 billion a month bond-buying program. As of 1 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up 11 points, or 0.07%, but the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are respectively down 0.19% and 0.62%.
The limited movements are presumably the calm before the storm, as no matter what the Federal Reserve tells us later today, the markets will likely move dramatically in one direction or the other. No taper could bring a rally, while a taper call would send stocks falling.
As things stand right now, we have a few big blue-chip losers. Let's take a look at who they are and why they're heading lower.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) shares are 1.6% lower, which is somewhat odd considering the news released by the company this morning. The aerospace giant announced that Boeing defense division chief Dennis Muilenburg would take over as president and chief operating officer. Additionally, Muilenburg and Boeing executive Ray Conner were both named vice chairmen. Many analysts believe this change in upper management signals that Muilenburg is now being prepped to become Boeing's next CEO whenever Jim McNerney retires. Typically, it is lack of certainty about who is going to succeed an outgoing CEO that causes a stock to fall. This drop may be a case in which investors can now see the writing on the wall and worry that McNerney is about to leave before everyone figures out if Muilenburg is any good.
Outside the Dow, one big and somewhat surprising loser today is Ford (NYSE:F), as shares are currently off by 7.13%. The company warned this morning that its profit margin would decline in 2014 due to costs associated with launching a record number of new vehicles and forecast problems in Europe. Ford expects to make a pre-tax profit of $8.5 billion in 2013, while in 2014 it expects that pre-tax profit will fall within the range of $7 billion-$8 billion. Additionally, management now believes it may also fall short on its previous guidance of 10% operating margin in North America during 2013 because of a large Ford Escape recall.
If that wasn't enough, both Ford and General Motors (NYSE:GM) once again were left off Consumers Reports' list of best value among new cars. While Toyota and Honda again topped the list in first and second place with the Prius IV and the Fit, Ford and GM vehicles could only be found on the list of the 10 worst vehicles from a value standpoint. Ford actually had four spots on that list, while GM held two spots with the Cadillac Escalade and the Cadillac XTS Premium. Shares of General Motors are down 3.14% at this time.
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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Ford. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what causing the big market movers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513.
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