3 Stocks Weighing Heavily on the Dow Right Now

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Despite a strong push throughout the day, the major indices closed lower at the end:

 Index

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI )-6.74-.05%12,653
Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) -4.61-.16%2,812
S&P 500-3.32-.25%1,313

The anchors
Here's a look at those companies which weighed most heavily on the index today.

  • Bank of America (NYS: BAC) was the market dunce today, closing down over 3%. Goldman Sachs lowered its rating on the banking giant from buy to neutral. Also, continued Greek debt fears stoked the coals that threaten to torch the broader banking sector. Despite this, though, the banking titan is still the best performing Dow stock for 2012.
  • Procter & Gamble (NYS: PG) was the second-worst Dow stock today, giving up 1.7% to the market. The company had disappointing earnings recently, despite beating second-quarter expectations. The consumer-goods giant lowered its forecasts on high commodity costs and a strong dollar. This will certainly curtail the profitability of their international operations.
  • American Express Company (NYS: AXP) also fell on Greek debt talk worries. The company actually reported positive earnings two weeks ago. The other major credit-card company on the Dow, MasterCard, reports earnings on Thursday. Look for MasterCard's release to move other credit card companies like American Express for the day.

Foolish bottom line
The Greek debt situation is moving the Dow today, and with it being earnings season, there are plenty of companies out there that investors need to watch, since they could move the Dow. 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 yours today.

At the time this article was published Austin Smith owns no shares of the companies mentioned here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Procter & Gamble.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a write covered strangle position in American Express. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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