No Afternoon Delight for the Dow

Good earnings and a solid Spanish bond auction weren't enough to keep the markets excited heading into the afternoon, as things got sour in a hurry. With that in mind, let's examine how the major indexes fared today and then take a closer look at a few stocks making news.


Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)








S&P 500




Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Poor existing-home sales, higher initial unemployment claims, and a European market sell-off drove the three major indexes south. The Dow closed beneath 13,000 after regaining that mark on Tuesday's 1.5% rally. All but three of the Dow's components lost ground, and two of those, Travelers and Verizon, reported strong earnings. Travelers soared 3.8% after crushing operating-income estimates by 30% and raising its dividend 12%. Verizon saw a smaller 1.3% gain, as iPhone sales continue to weigh on margins, but the benefit of subsidizing mobile devices for long-term contracts is paying off as revenue gains more than made up for it on the bottom line.

Verizon's iPhone sales were a point of interest heading in to Apple's earnings in that they declined from 4.2 million to 3.2 million units sequentially, but they were still up 46% year over year. Analysts are expecting at least 30 million iPhones sold for the quarter globally, and that is certainly still attainable, but missing sales targets for Apple's most important product would reverberate through the market, given Apple's position as the world's largest publicly traded company.

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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 Fool owns shares of Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Apple and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. 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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