Markets Fight to Pull Out a Win

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After being down more than 150 points today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day higher by three points, or 0.02%, and now rests at 15,558. The other major indexes also rose as the S&P 500 gained 0.08%, and the Nasdaq increased by 0.22% despite also both trading lower earlier in the day.

The main cause for the decline this morning was the announcement from the Chinese government telling 1,400 companies in 19 different industries to lower excess capacity by the end of 2013. This is a move that will probably hurt an already slowing Chinese GDP. This move will likely have some major macro-economic impacts both around the world and here at home. 

But the good news today was that U.S. consumer sentiment continues to move higher. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index, which came out this morning, rose to 85.1 in July, from 83.9 in June, and beat economists' expectations of 84. 

Despite the strong consumer sentiment numbers today, the consumer-driven business that is Coca-Cola didn't perform very well. The stock closed down 0.49% today, but had fallen as much as 2% during the trading session. The likely cause for the decline was the announcement from an independent Coke bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises, that it was lowering is full-year forecast for sales. The previous estimate was that revenue would grow at a low- to mid-single-digit rate, but that has now been reduced to a low-single-digit range. When Coke's bottlers are selling less product, Coke is receiving less revenue from the sale of its mixes, which the bottlers take and put into cans and bottles. 

Boeing was also a big loser today as shares fell 1.03%. It was reported earlier today that the FAA is proposing a $2.75-million fine against the company for failing to take prompt action to fix an issue with fasteners on its model 777 airplanes, which had been discovered back in 2008. While the amount of the fine shouldn't hurt the company, it does raise concerns about Boeing's management oversight and problem resolution. Furthermore, what likely caused the decline today was the announcement that Qatar airlines had grounded one of its 787 Dreamliners for what it is calling a "minor" technical issue. Reuters is reporting that neither Qatar nor Boeing would discuss details, but industry sources stated that the plane had been grounded for days after smoke was seen near an electrical panel. And that news is certainly enough to push the stock lower today.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard fell 0.95%; but, as the stock is up more than 82% since the start of 2013, today's decline shouldn't be affecting investors too dramatically today. My colleague John Divine noted earlier today that the stock was up four straight sessions coming into today, and that this move may be a result of the price appreciation that shares have seen in 2013. Investors may be selling a big winner today, causing the stock price to decline. Cashing in part of your big winners is a good idea to lower your risk, especially if your portfolio allocation has become too overweighted by one or two big winners.

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The article Markets Fight to Pull Out a Win originally appeared on

Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned.  Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513 The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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