Is the Dow Slipping?

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is down 0.35% as of 2:45 EDT, pushing it below 13,200. It's not alone though, with all three of the major indexes wrestling with weakness. The Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) is the worst performer so far, down 0.8% for the day. The S&P 500 isn't far behind with a 0.62% decline.

The news
Frankly, there isn't much going on that's pushing shares lower today. There are pockets of activity, but no real macro news to cite.

Dow Jones component Coca-Cola (NYS: KO) announced its intention to buy Monster Beverage (NAS: MNST) , a deal I've been hoping would happen for some time now. I like the move, as it brings a high-growth product into Coke's wheelhouse and could give the brand the backing to make a real splash internationally, where competition will be tough from Red Bull.


Another Dow Jones component, Microsoft, is also making waves today, but it's not being reflected in their shares, which are looking flattish right now. That's because while its $300 million investment with Barnes & Noble (NYS: BKS) may be chump change to the software king, it's a big vote of confidence for the struggling bookseller. Shares of the book retailer are up a massive 60% on the news, which is actually far lower than where they opened at. Perhaps the most important part of the news is that it finally gives us a glimpse into the value of B&N's Nook division, which back-of-the-napkin calculations indicate would be $1.7 billion.

What to watch
My guess is the markets hang out at current levels, holding their breath until the employment report is released this Friday. Employment levels continue to be the big market movers, generally trumping high gas prices and international jitters right now. The forecast and market expectation is for unemployment to hold at 8.2%, the same as the prior period.

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At the time this article was published Austin Smith owns shares of Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Coca-Cola and Monster Beverage, as well as recommended writing puts on Barnes & Noble. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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