1 Stock That's Weighing On the Dow Today

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is having a relatively unexciting day today. The Index is up 0.3% for the day, after recovering from a brief stint in the red this morning. Here is a look at how the other indices are faring.

Index

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average

39.9

0.3%

13,244

Nasdaq

18.4

0.6%

3,069

S&P 500

4.3

0.3%

1,404

Source: Google Finance.

The big news
Even though the Dow made it to positive territory today, there is one big anchor that's dragging on its performance: Procter & Gamble (NYS: PG) . The consumer goods company cut its profit forecast for the year, citing weaker economic growth in the West, higher input costs, and restricting. Shares are currently down 4%. Net income dipped 16%, coming in at $0.82 per share. The company has gotten a bit bloated in recent years and is aiming to cut $10 billion in costs over the next four years. One of the biggest initiatives to achieve this is by cutting almost 6,000 jobs. Despite this, P&G is still an incredibly impressive company. They do business in every country where they are legally allowed to operate, giving them unrivaled exposure to the global economy. While they may have been a bit behind Unilever (NYS: UL) in the emerging markets game, they are still a long-term force to be reckoned with. Those investors interested in Procter & Gamble should look at today's dip as a valuable buying opportunity for one of the best buy-and-hold stocks out there.

Off the Dow
The most exciting news on the markets today is found off the Dow, though. Amazon.com (NAS: AMZN) is surging 16.8% on greater-than-expected revenue and margins. The e-tailer of everything upended analyst expectations with a crazy 34% gain in net sales to $13.18 billion, as well as an unexpected margin expansion. Of course, as long-term investors here at The Fool, we love to see ultra-long-view CEOs like Jeff Bezos proven right, and I'm giving him a serious nod of approval on this one (not that he needed it).


Expedia (NAS: EXPE) blew up this morning as well, and is now up nearly 30% on strong performance in its core hotel business. This could be a sign of good economic things to come, as discretionary travel was one of the first things to go in the downturn.

The best approach
Watching the markets swing wildly each day is fun, exciting, and stressful. That's why we promote long-term investing here at The Fool, and we've picked the perfect stock that dovetails with our investing philosophy, it's been selected as The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012, and you can learn more about this rock star of tomorrow by clicking here now.

At the time this article was published Austin Smith owns shares of Unilever. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Amazon.com. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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