Why the Dow Fought Back, But Still Lost Today

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All of the indices opened sharply lower this morning on continued concerns about the Eurozone's debt situation. At today's European summit in Brussels, German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused to discuss the Greek situation. The stated reason was that the parties responsible for overseeing the Greek bailout package are still engaged in discussion with bondholders, banks, and the Greek government.

Determined not to let Europe's woes sour the day too badly, though, the indices fought back to smaller losses and closed the day just moderately in the red.

 Index

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

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

Noteworthy
All things considered it's no surprise then that Bank of America (NYS: BAC) was today's biggest Dow loser, falling 3% for the day. Also pressuring the company was Goldman Sachs' rating downgrade from buy to neutral. Despite today's woes, though, the company is still the Dow's best-performing stock for the year, climbing an impressive 27% for this year alone. Fellow Fool Anand Chokkavelu believes they've still got room to run and thinks Bank of America Could be the Dow's Biggest Winner in 2012.

What to watch

Tomorrow, investors will be eagerly awaiting earnings from Pfizer (NYS: PFE) and ExxonMobil (NYS: XOM) . Pfizer releases at 10 tomorrow morning and Exxon releases an hour later. Analysts are expecting $0.47 per share out of Pfizer, which is exactly what they produced in the same quarter last year. Exxon is expected to report earnings of $1.95 per share, $0.10 above last year's $1.85.

Pfizer faces certain difficulties coming off their Lipitor patent. The drug has been a cash cow for them over the years, and the company has decided to sell the drug at generic prices to combat the certain flurry of imitation drugs once the patent expires.

Expectations for Exxon are positive, though some doubt has been aroused after Chevron (NYS: CVX) missed estimates on weak refinery operations. Companies in this space tend to swing in time to each other, so don't be surprised if Exxon shows a little weakness tomorrow.

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 your free report today.

At the time this article was published Austin Smith owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Chevron and Pfizer. 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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