Why the Dow's on French Leave This Morning

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Socialist Francois Hollande's victory in the French presidential election over the weekend didn't come as a shock to anyone, but it's still being blamed for big stock market losses in many areas of the world. Although French stocks jumped, with the CAC 40 (INDEX: ^FCHI) rebounding from an initial drop to rise more than 1%, markets in Asia and the U.K. were sharply lower. In the U.S., though, initial losses were much more moderate, and at about 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) were down 46 points to 13,005.

Among Dow stocks, Wal-Mart (NYS: WMT) got a small boost after Warren Buffett said in a CNBC interview that he sees the company's Mexican bribery scandal as an isolated event from a small set of players within Wal-Mart. With Berkshire Hathaway being a significant shareholder in Wal-Mart, Buffett's opinion carries even more weight than usual with the retail giant.

On the down side, AT&T (NYS: T) fell slightly. As fellow Fool Jeremy Bowman discussed earlier, the company is looking to set up wireless home-monitoring service to give homeowners remote mobile access to everything from thermostats to security cameras. With home security a big business in its own right, the foray could be just the first in a series of moves from AT&T to try to expand the reach and utility of its wireless network.


Finally, General Electric (NYS: GE) was off about 0.3% after announcing that it would work with China's XD Electric to bring complete electrical infrastructure packages to the global market. GE said that XD's expertise in electrical transmission and distribution equipment should be a good complement to GE's grid automation and service capabilities. The arrangement involves GE taking a 15% equity stake in XD.

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At the time this article was published Fool contributor Dan Caplinger owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. You can follow him on Twitter here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Berkshire Hathaway and creating a diagonal call position on Wal-Mart. 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 Fool has a disclosure policy.

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