Why the Dow Is Down Today

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is falling for the second day in a row as GDP data fell short of expectations and two Dow components reported earnings. At 1:30 p.m. EST, the Dow was down 83 points to 12,651.38.

The U.S. Commerce Department released GDP data this morning that showed GDP rose 2.8% in the fourth quarter, faster than the previous quarter's 1.8% growth. However, 2.8% was below analyst expectations of 3% growth.

Adding to the negative data were Chevron's (NYS: CVX) earnings. The company missed lowered analyst expectations for both earnings per share and revenue. Chevron reported earnings per share of $2.58; analysts had been expecting $2.85. For revenue, the company reported $60 billion versus analyst expectations of $71 billion. Production increased to 2.64 million barrels per day from 2.60 million barrels per day last quarter. The stock is down $2.31, or 2.17%, to $104.28 in afternoon trading.

The other Dow component to report earnings today, Procter & Gamble (NYS: PG) , beat expectations but forecast lower-than-expected numbers for next quarter. The company reported earnings per share of $1.10, $0.02 above analyst expectations of $1.08. Revenue was $22.14 billion, just slightly below expectations of $22.2 billion. The company projected earnings per share for next quarter of just $0.81 to $0.87, below analyst expectations of $1.06. The company cited rising commodity costs and unfavorable currency movements. The stock is down $0.75, or 1.15%, to $64.05 in afternoon trading.

Foolish bottom line
Chevron's earnings helped move the Dow today, but there are plenty of other companies out there that investors need to watch during this earnings season. In the Fool's "Fourth-Quarter Earnings Report: 7 Stocks You'll Want to Watch," you'll find information on this quarter's possible big performers. It's completely free for our readers, so click here to access your free report today

At the time this article was published Dan Dzombak can be found on his Facebook page. Click here and like his Facebook page to follow his investing articles. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chevron and Procter & Gamble. 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.

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