What Drove the Dow's Drop Today

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After posting a strong start today, the markets reversed course as trading progressed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) fell into negative territory by around 10 a.m. ET and remained in the red for the rest of the day. Thanks to late-day rallies, both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 escaped similar fates, each rising 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.

The macro concern roiling markets came from across the pond, where Spanish Prime Minister Marian Rajoy dispelled what the rumor mill had taken as Gospel creed -- that Spain was on the doorstep of requesting the formal EU bailout that most investors expect to happen sooner or later. However, individual stocks offered plenty of compelling storylines in their own right.

Around the markets
One of today's biggest swings came from telecom underdog MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS) , which rose 17.8% on news that it's near completing a deal to be acquired by T-Mobile. The merger would be mutually beneficial for the two telecoms, which rank as the fourth and fifth largest carriers in the U.S., especially in a period where Verizon and AT&T share a near duopoly in the mobile space.

On the flipside, shares of MSCI (NYSE: MSCI) tanked 26.8% as the Vanguard Group decided to drop the benchmark provider for 22 of its index funds in lieu of benchmarks from the FTSE Group for six of its international funds and a set of indexes developed by the University of Chicago for 16 of its domestically focused funds. The move aimed at reducing costs for Vanguard's funds, which, for those familiar with the mutual fund company, is kind of their shtick.

In other controversial news, shares of Fool recommendation Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) slid 4.2% as prominent hedge-fund manager David Einhorn presented a bearish take on the company at the Value Investor Conference, an annual gathering of investment professionals. Einhorn, who rose to prominence from his short recommendations on Lehman Brothers and Green Mountain CoffeeRoasters, cited its lofty multiples as well as increased competition from Yum! Brands' (NYSE: YUM) Taco Bell franchises and their recently launched Cantina Bell menu.

Although drops can create the occasional opportunity for the bold, chasing hot stocks is a recipe to get burned. Saving is a long-term process, not an overnight miracle, and we believe that looking past news events and market cycles is often the best way to win for the average guy. We highlight three safe, stable large-cap companies that should thrive over time in a new research report from the Fool. You can access it free of charge today by just clicking here.

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