Today's trading session got off to a poor start and never recovered. Despite better-than-anticipated initial unemployment claims, which at 348,000 showed sequential improvement and hit a new post-financial crisis low, stocks sold off. The market was determined to shrug off the improvement to the labor market and what that means for the domestic economy in general. Concerns over a stagnating Europe, where fiscal austerity ruled the day, have dampened enthusiasm at home. The low-volume selling portends an overbought market, and it will probably lead to the worst week of 2012.
With all that in mind, let's look at how the market fared today and take a closer look at two stocks bucking the broader move.
Gain / Loss
Gain / Loss %
Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)
Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC)
S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC)
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
All three indexes were down, with the S&P's 0.7% decline the worst performance of the group. The Dow managed to finish second, with just eight of its 30 components finishing with gains. Even financial component Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) fell 2.2%, putting a blemish on its post-stress-test run that had included gains in six of its past seven trading sessions. Still, shares are up almost 4% for the week, making it one of the Dow's top performers. Considering how far Bank of America has fallen from its pre-crisis highs, this stock should have plenty of room to run if its capital base is secure and there are no hiccups in the global recovery.
Another stock bucking the Dow's downtrend is Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) , which despite losing 0.6% today is still up 2.4% since Monday. Shares have performed well since the announcement that Cisco is purchasing NDS for $5 billion. The Israeli company focuses on software that enables secure content delivery for video providers, such as DirectTV, and is a natural expansion of Cisco's Videoscape platform. While this acquisition should pay dividends, Cisco is up nearly 30% over the past six months, and at 52-week highs, investors may want to wait for a better entry point.
Finally, Congress deserves congratulations for sending the White House a piece of bipartisan legislation restricting insider trading among its members. We at the Fool have long been proponents of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, or, STOCK Act, which received enormous momentum after a 60 Minutes segment aired on the topic. President Obama has shown enthusiasm to sign the bill into legislation, so here is hoping members of Congress will soon no longer be on a different playing field from other investors.
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At the time thisarticle was published
David Williamsonholds no position in any company mentioned. Check out hisholdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cisco Systems and Bank of America. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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