With weak economic data coming from China and for the U.S., the major indexes here at home moved lower today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) lost 26 points, or 0.16%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.49% and the Nasdaq dropped 1.18%.
Throughout the market today, highly valued growth stocks were tumbling for no apparent reason. Shares of Facebook slid by 4.67%, Twitter by 4.22%, TripAdvisor by 3.87%, and Chipotle Mexican Grill by 3.69%. Other highfliers fell based on actual news, but the moves still seemed irrational. Shares of Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO), for one, fell 3.32%, and with the recent announcement that Alibaba, the Chinese version on Amazon.com, is preparing to go public, it may be that investors are concerned about Yahoo!'s future growth. The Alibaba investment has been bolstering Yahoo!'s stock price the past few months, but now that the end is in site for this catalyst, figuring out what's going to drive the stock higher is a difficult assignment.
While the highfliers were having a rough go of it today, one well-respected and stable dividend-paying stock led the way higher. Shares of Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) rose 1.82%, making it the Dow's best-performing stock of the day and only one of two components up more than 1% when the closing bell rang. (The other was JPMorgan Chase, up 1.5%.) When uncertainty rises, investors flock to the best of breed. Not only does Procter & Gamble have a history of being a strong and stable company, but it's also a dividend aristocrat and has proved that the business can grow even during tough economic times.
One big loser today that had a decent reason for tanking was Tiffany (NYSE:TIF). Goldman Sachs removed the jeweler from its "conviction buy" list and slapped a $100 price target on the stock, saying Tiffany's growth thesis is playing out slower than expected. Investors should remember that analysts' timelines are typically much faster than they should be, so it's wise to take this downgrade with a grain of salt. Consider, too, that Goldman still has a "buy" rating on the stock, with a price target that represents an upside value 14.5% higher than where shares closed today.