Why These Stocks Are Sinking the Dow Right Now

The market opened sharply lower this morning on news that many countries in Europe will likely receive a credit downgrade from Standard & Poor's.


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Weak earnings
Adding to the mess is JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM) . The company slid almost 4% in the morning on the news that its fourth-quarter profit fell by 23%; its stock is currently down 3.1%. The relatively good news is that this is roughly in line with estimates. It is certainly no surprise as M&A activity and trading have been light due to the generally weak business environment.

Proving that you are the company you keep, Bank of America (NYS: BAC) is also down and outpaced JPMorgan with a 4.3% nosedive in early trading today. B of A's shares have since recovered and swapped positions with JPMorgan, now down only 2.3%. Bank of America has announced that it is considering withdrawing from certain geographic markets in the U.S. The company's financial condition continues to be called into question, but this certainly indicates more fundamental weakness. Oddly enough, Bank of America has exploded into 2012 and is up some 17% year-to-date, more than any other company on the Dow.

Other big Dow losers include Alcoa (NYS: AA) , the company that kicked off the Dow's earnings season with a fizzle. It was the first Dow component to report, notching a fourth-quarter loss of $193 million, or -$0.03 per share. Analysts were estimating a loss of $0.02. Revenue beat estimates.

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At the time thisarticle was published Austin Smith owns no shares of the companies mentioned here. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. 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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