1 Stock Holding the Dow Back
The early morning markets are showing quiet confidence with Greece's private creditors having until today to accept the terms of the Mediterranean country's bailout, or set in motion a $1.3 trillion disorderly default. Hopefully that confidence is not misplaced amid reports that the various parties are close, because things will turn ugly, Lehman-ugly, if the deal gets derailed at the last minute.
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at how the three major indexes are faring this morning.
|Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)||49.45||0.46%||12,896.78|
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
All three indexes are up with the Nasdaq currently topping the S&P 500 with its near-1% gain so far in the trading session. The Dow is lagging, and one of its components, McDonald's (NYS: MCD) , is having a noticeably poor performance. Global sales gains for February of 7.5% came in below expectations, sending shares of the fast-food purveyor down more than 3%. In addition, the company warned of eurozone troubles and higher commodity prices negatively affecting first-quarter results. While higher costs are something to keep an eye on, investors should remember that 7.5% growth is still impressive for a company the size of McDonald's. The stock has done quite well for investors, and this pullback could be a buying opportunity.
McDonald's isn't the only notable decliner today. On the Nasdaq, the worst performance is being turned in by biotech Dendreon (NAS: DNDN) , with shares down more than 16%. What caused the maker of prostate cancer vaccine Provenge to plummet? Concerns that Johnson & Johnson's (NYS: JNJ) Zytiga could be encroaching on Provenge's turf. Provenge has struggled to garner sales out of the gate, due in part to its high up-front costs and uniqueness. Zytiga, on the other hand, is a cheaper oral medicine and recent unblinded trial results showed it beating a placebo. This study wasn't supposed to read out for months, but it was unblinded because of Zytiga's effectiveness. It is cruel to give cancer patients a placebo when there is a drug that works. Shares of Medivation (NAS: MDVN) -- which also has an oral drug candidate similar to Zytiga (MDV-3100) -- are up more than 17%, as many believe J&J's success paves the way for the small biotech. Ultimately, Dendreon could be in real trouble here and investors should proceed with caution.
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At the time this article was published David Williamson owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and Dendreon, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and Dendreon. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson and McDonald's, as well as creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. 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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