Mr. Market has been on one heck of a climb for the year. The Dow Jones Industrials Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is up almost 8% year to date, and has climbed from 12,700 to 13,289 in this month alone. Today's down day seems more like a breather than anything else. That doesn't mean there aren't trends to watch though. Here is a look at how the three major indices fared today, the macro news moving markets, and the two Dow stocks that gained or lost the most today.
Gain / Loss
Gain / Loss %
Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI )
While Europe has been at the forefront of most investor's global concerns, it looks like another region of the world has been building problems of their own. Today, it is slowdown fears in China that are sending chills. BHP Billiton, the world's largest miner, said that iron ore demand from the country is "flattening." Coupled with fears about an overinflated housing market in the country, it's easy to see why shares would dip.
Worries from China pushed gold, oil, and silver funds lower today. The Market Vectors Oil Services ETF (ASE: OIH) closed the day down 1.8%, more than three times the Dow's fall. The U.S. Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Index Fund (ASE: IEO) fell five times the loss on the Dow, with a 2.5% decline for the day. This makes sense, as oil and gas exploration tends to be the most boom-and-bust subsector of the oil and gas industry.
Specific pops & drops
Bank of America (NYS: BAC) was the top performing Dow stock of the day, rising 2.9%. This added to the company's already ridiculous 76.4% year-to-date gain. It's been a two-part push for the big bank: Originally they were buoyed by positive economic numbers, and then they built off that rise with positive stress-test results. It's been a great year to be in banking stocks, and some Fools think Bank of America could be the Dow's stop stock of 2012.
Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) was the biggest Dow loser today, falling 2.61%. The company has put up huge growth numbers recently, particularly with their emerging-market mining growth. It makes sense they would dip today on China growth fears, but with the equipment maker still up 23% for the year, today's pullback isn't anything to sweat over.
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