Why the Dow Moved Today

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After dropping 131 points this morning, the Dow slowly rallied throughout the day, finishing close to even. Here's how the Dow and the other two major indexes fared today.

Index

Change

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) -6.74 [-0.05%]12,653.72
Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) -4.61 [-0.16%]2,811.94
S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) -3.32 [-0.25%]1,313.01

It's generally unwise to attribute the market's intricate movements to one thing. That said, it was Europe once again that the newswires were chirping about today. The European Union's leaders met in Brussels today to continue talks on deficit reduction and a $661 billion rescue fund. Meanwhile, Greece and its private creditors continued talks on a debt-swap deal, a prerequisite to getting a second rescue.

In addition, Portugal's bond yields surged, driving fears that it will be the next country to write down debt.

Let's move on to the stock-specific news. In after-hours trading, RadioShack (NYS: RSH) shares were down in the 20% range on an earnings warning. The company expects to report fourth-quarter earnings of $0.11 to $0.13 when it reports on Feb. 21. Compare that with earnings of $0.51 a year before.

Looking to the 30 Dow components, there were 15 losers, 12 winners, and three that remained unchanged.

The biggest mover was Bank of America (NYS: BAC) , down 3% as Goldman Sachs cut its rating on B of A shares from "buy" to "neutral." The biggest winner was Microsoft, up 1.3% on no major news. Verizon and IBM were also up 1.1% each.

That's the daily Dow news, but remember to keep focused on the long term. For example, as a Radio Shack shareholder, I'll be checking in to see whether the current warning is a sign of trouble to come.

For more earnings-season-related ideas, check out the Fool's "Fourth-Quarter Earnings Report: 7 Stocks You'll Want to Watch." In the video, you'll find information on this quarter's possible big performers. It's completely free for our readers, so access your free report.

At the time this article was published Anand Chokkaveluowns shares of Microsoft, RadioShack, and Bank of America, as well as long-dated call options in Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Microsoft, IBM, and RadioShack.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Goldman Sachs and Microsoft and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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