It was a solid week for U.S. stocks overall, with all three major indices finishing the week in the black, helped up by an encouraging report today on consumer spending data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) was able to end the week up 131 points, or 1%. The big story was that the Dow gained 994 points, or 8.1% over the past three months -- good enough for its biggest first-quarter gain ever.
But the Dow's strong performance couldn't stop some companies from ending the week in the red.
Percent Change This Week
Verizon (NYS: VZ)
Bank of America (NYS: BAC)
Caterpillar (NYS: CAT)
Ironically, the stock that has been by far the quarter's biggest gainer was one of this week's biggest losers. Bank of America, up an astonishing 72% this quarter, was down nearly 3% on the week. The company is one of the Dow's most sensitive to the overall economy, and that's not a good thing on a week when we saw more fears about Europe and some forecasts calling for an end to our slow economic expansion.
Verizon was the biggest loser on the Dow this week, down 3%. Despite operating in a relative duopoly in the U.S. wireless market with AT&T, the companies could still be vulnerable to smaller companies offering some wireless services for free. One such smaller competitor, Clearwire (NAS: CLWR) , will offer through some of its partners free 4G wireless access for consumers, potentially threatening the big wireless companies' data revenue. Clearwire's network only covers around 70 cities in the U.S., but it looks as if some Verizon investors may be a bit nervous about this one.
Finally, construction-equipment behemoth Caterpillar lost 1.2% on the week. The company had a terrible day on Wednesday, on which it lost 3.5% after a disappointing U.S. durable-goods report, combined with a crude oil reading that generated concern about the global economy, helped doom the stock.
The big picture
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At the time thisarticle was published Brendan Byrnes owns no shares of any company mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. 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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