3 Dow Stocks That Got Crushed Today

U.S. stock markets fell yet again today, marking the fifth day of losses in the past seven. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) started sharply lower in early trading, ending down 71.5 points, or 0.5% lower. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both declined 0.5% as well. Several macroeconomic indicators came in under their expected figures, leading to steeper-than-average losses in some key sectors.

Around the markets
A disappointing U.S. durable-goods report drove the capital goods sector down 1.2% on the day. Although the figure grew at a 2.2% clip, the metric fell well below analyst expectations of a 3% increase. This led to steep losses in the companies atop the industry. Heavy-equipment maker Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) notched the greatest decline today, falling 3.5%.

The basic-materials sector also took a beating today, as a weak reading in crude oil consumption also generated concern about the strength of the global economy. On the day, the sector declined 1.4%, making it the hardest hit of all major sectors. Aluminum producer Alcoa (NYS: AA) fell the second most on the Dow, dropping 2.3% on the day. Both Caterpillar and Alcoa have fallen around 4.3% over the past week, pulling back some of their impressive gains thus far in 2012.

Energy-related companies also declined sharply today. Both of the major oil stocks on the Dow fell more than the average itself, with Chevron (NYS: CVX) and ExxonMobil falling 1.1% and 0.9% on the weak oil report. Other energy-related stocks didn't escape the carnage today. Nat-gas play Westport Innovations (NAS: WPRT) fell sharply. The Canadian company that makes natural gas conversions for petroleum-based engines fell by 4.9%. Investors have high hopes for the firm. As oil prices remain substantially higher than natural gas prices, Westport should benefit from people and businesses migrating to the lower-cost fuel.

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At the time this article was published Andrew Tonner held no financial position in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of ExxonMobil, Westport Innovations, and Chevron. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. 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.

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