Is the Dow Done For?

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) looks to change direction today after falling 1.7% last week on the back of mixed earnings results, growing concerns in Europe, and new controversy within the banking sector.  As I mentioned last week, the "sell in May and go away" mantra is playing out before our eyes, but it's important to keep things in perspective. After all, earnings growth for the first quarter has outpaced analyst expectations by a large margin to date, with the average S&P 500 company growing the bottom line 7.3% (4.9% excluding Apple) versus analyst expectations of only 0.1% growth.

The so-so network
Facebook
week is upon us, with the social network slated to go public on Friday. While the typical IPO "pop" is to be expected, many observers aren't so bullish on the long-term outlook for the house of Zuckerberg. As it's coming out with an extremely rich valuation of around 60 times forward earnings, there won't be much room for error in ensuing quarters. And with a number of near-term headwinds facing the company, such as growing concern over monetizing mobile users, there will be a heavy emphasis on emerging efforts to drive revenue growth going forward.

Executive exits
Shake-ups in the executive ranks dominated the headlines yesterday and will likely continue to throughout the week. Yesterday, Yahoo! (NAS: YHOO) announced that CEO Scott Thompson will resign from his post effective immediately following evidence discrediting his academic credentials. JPMorgan Chase also decided to cut bait, announcing that three executives tied to a $2 billion trading loss will be leaving the company. While an exit is not expected, Chesapeake Energy (NYS: CHK) CEO Aubrey McClendon will remain on the hot seat as he looks to calm investor nerves on an 8:30 a.m. EDT conference call today. Chesapeake shares fell 14% on Friday over possible delays in planned asset sales, exacerbating investor concern in the midst of ongoing skepticism over McClendon's private transactions and apparent conflicts of interest.


On deck for earnings
The sole S&P 500 company announcing earnings today is Agilent Technologies (NYS: A) . Investors are looking for the electronic measurement company to post earnings of $0.73 a share on 2% revenue growth. Also on the docket is daily deals darling Groupon (NAS: GRPN) . With its stock price down 62% since debuting in November and plenty of egg remaining on its face following revised fourth-quarter numbers, I'll be checking my inbox to see if we finally get some positive news to build on, or at a minimum a really sweet deal on some Mexican food.

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At the time this article was published Brenton Flynn owns shares of Chesapeake Energy. The Motley Fool owns shares of Yahoo!, JPMorgan Chase, and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Yahoo!, Apple, and Chesapeake Energy.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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