Why the Dow Is Falling Today

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is slipping today, down 0.6% by 1:45 p.m.

Investors are once again worried that the European Union, which has fumbled its response to the slow-moving European financial crisis, might delay the latest bailout of Greece. Recall that it was fears that Greece wouldn't accept the bailout austerity conditions that drove the Dow down Friday. Meanwhile, the most recent GDP figures show that the Greek and Portuguese economies continue to languish due to failing austerity measures.

In the U.S., while manufacturing continues to make its comeback, the electricity and mining industries posted poor January numbers.

Economically sensitive Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) is one of the biggest losers so far today, down 1.1% in afternoon trading. Peer Deere (NYS: DE) announced strong earnings on strength in the U.S. agriculture market. Earnings per share were up 8%, and the company raised its 2012 guidance, though it did warn of potentially rising material costs.

In other news, Kellogg (NYS: K) has agreed to buy Pringles from Procter & Gamble (NYS: PG) for $2.7 billion. The personal goods giant had previously reached a $1.5 billion agreement with Diamond Foods, but that deal began to unravel after it was revealed that Diamond had been making improper payments to nut growers that could result in a 50% downward earnings restatement.

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At the time this article was published Ilan Moscovitz doesn't own shares of any company mentioned. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of 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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