Can the Fed Save the Dow?

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Markets are down across the board, as early-morning gains turned into small afternoon losses before the Federal Reserve released notes from its late-April meeting.

Revealing a slight change in tone, Ben Bernanke et al. appear more prepared to intervene should the recovery come under fire. However, the fact that policymakers have to articulate the increasing popularity of future easing is probably a bad sign for the economy as a eurozone meltdown and the dual whammy of Federal tax increases and spending cuts in 2013 could hammer the domestic economy. While some bureaucrats may be happy about higher revenue and lower spending fixing the deficit, the costs of debt fixation, pulling money out of the economy despite low borrowing costs, and high unemployment will have disastrous effects.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at how the major indexes are faring and drill down on a few stocks making headlines.

Index

Gain/Loss

Gain/Loss %

Intraday Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)

(12.07)

(0.10%)

12,619.93

Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC)

(18.59)

(0.64%)

2,875.17

S&P 500

(3.93)

(0.30%)

1,326.73


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Despite the growing chance of further Fed action, financials are down today, including Dow components Bank of America (NYS: BAC) and JPMorgan (NYS: JPM) , down 2% and 1%, respectively. JPMorgan is still dealing with the fallout of its $2 billion derivative trading loss, including a FBI probe. B of A doesn't have any specific news, but the increasing possibility of Greece ejecting from the eurozone is weighing on the industry. No more so than at National Bank of Greece (NYS: NBG) , down over 10%, as a slow bank run in Greece -- let's call it a jog -- may be starting. According to one report, four Greek banks are operating with negative equity capital as Greeks begin pulling their money out prior to suspected financial chaos.

What to make of it
With euro worries punishing financial stocks, many investors may wonder if Bank of America is a bad-news buy, but we'll actually give you a few reasons you should sell B of A today. Whether you're a current Bank of America shareholder or thinking about becoming one, it's worth learning about both the bear and bull cases for this stock. Read more here.

At the time this article was published David Williamsonholds no position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of The Home Depot. 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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