Greece Steals the Dow's Lunch Money

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One day's eurozone optimism is the next day's Grexit panic. Yesterday's hopes for bold action during a meeting of European leaders have evaporated as investors prepare for a seemingly inevitable ejection of Greece from the euro. Taken by itself, Greece returning to the drachma is not the end of the world, but it could prove to be a Lehman Brothers event, setting off a chain reaction that could lead to runs on Italy and Spain, ending the euro and massively disrupting global capital markets. Scary stuff.

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) (133.73)(1.07%)12,369.08
Nasdaq(23.47)(0.83%)2,815.61
S&P 500(14.19)(1.08%)1,302.43

Source: Yahoo! Finance.


It's a bloodbath for the three major indexes, as all were off more than 1% earlier today. The Nasdaq has gained back ground the fastest, despite tech's relative dive compared to the other major sectors. Dell (NAS: DELL) is crashing, as investors saw over 17% of their holding's value evaporate thanks to a weak forecast that at the high end of the range sees $15 billion of revenue versus an anticipated $15.4 billion. Dow component Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) , which reports on Wednesday, has seen an index-leading 5% decline as the difficult market will exacerbate an already-challenging quarter. Intel (NAS: INTC) , the world's biggest chip maker, is also down over 3% as its focus on the PC market (versus mobile) could weigh on future results.

I think Dell and other PC-focused companies are on the wrong side of a long-term tech trend, but losing $4.7 billion in market cap for an approximately $400 million-$700 million top-line miss screams of a market overreaction. These aren't growth companies, but as Windows 8 releases, they should see an uptick in demand as corporations modernize their equipment. Problems in Europe have likely made customers cautious of outlays, but between short-term headwinds and long-term challenges, there could be a chance for investors to profit.

In health care news, GlaxoSmithKline has threatened to kill its offer to buy partner Human Genome Sciences (NAS: HGSI) after the latter adopted a poison pill. The $13 offer is unchanged, and HGS is reportedly seeking other strategic alternatives (read: buyers), but the company just doesn't have much appeal to anyone but Glaxo. The two share Benlysta, a lupus treatment that has been slow to launch, as well as two other intriguing phase 3 drugs for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. While Glaxo could sweeten the bid, I wouldn't expect much of a bump between now and June 7 when the deal expires. No one ever went broke taking profits.

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At the time this article was published David Williamson holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Dell and Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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