What Sent the Dow Lower This Morning

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Most analysts think the stock market's in a wait-and-see mode as the summer draws to a close and traders take their last chance at a break before the typical pickup in volume that comes after Labor Day. But as Fool UK's Roland Head observed earlier today, the market is also waiting for something very specific: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's latest pronouncements on the economy, which he will share at his annual speech from Jackson Hole, Wyo., on Friday. In advance of that, stocks are mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) down 24 points just after 10:45 a.m. EDT, but the Nasdaq up on the day.

Travelers (NYS: TRV) was among the Dow's biggest losers, falling about three-quarters of a percent. With Tropical Storm Isaac churning in the Gulf and expected to reach hurricane strength soon, the insurer is clearly hoping to avoid the devastation that 2011 brought to its bottom line. If the storm is worse than expected, it could hurt the bullish case for Travelers, which sent the stock to 52-week highs last week.

Alcoa (NYS: AA) dropped more than 1% on news that Russian giant RUSAL plans to reduce its production capacity by 3% at the end of the year. Low prices for aluminum are taking their toll throughout the industry, and Alcoa's long-term prospects depend on a turnaround in the underlying aluminum market.


Finally, Bank of America (NYS: BAC) was among the Dow's worst performers, falling about 1.25%. News that M&T Bank will acquire Hudson City Bancorp (NAS: HCBK) wasn't enough to lift the entire financial sector, as big banks will still have to struggle with a challenging macroeconomic environment with plenty of threats to the global economy. Only once B of A and its peers can find ways to kick-start their growth engines should you expect to see their shares start rising strongly.

Get rid of the Monday blues
Short-term thinking is always a bad idea. It pays to learn everything you can about long-term prospects of a stock and build them into your investing thesis. That's exactly what you'll get from the Fool's latest premium report on Bank of America, where you'll find expert guidance from the Fool's best banking analysts on the strengths and weaknesses of one of the nation's most infamous banks. Get your copy today and learn what you need to know.

The article What Sent the Dow Lower This Morning originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributorDan Caplingerdoesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter@DanCaplinger. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Fool has adisclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners