Dow Can't Be Brought Down
If the markets were down today, there would be plenty of obvious culprits.
The eurozone's crawl to the fiscal precipice continues as Spain received another credit downgrade, causing the euro to tumble. Unlike Greece, which has an economy smaller than Dallas-Fort Worth and is poised to become a sacrificial lamb (gyro?) offered to the austerity gods, Spain's departure from the monetary union threatens unraveling the whole currency. Spain will issue more debt at roughly six-month highs as it attempts to recapitalize Bankia. Unsurprisingly, Banco Santander (NYS: STD) is taking a hit, with shares down more than 5%.
Back in the U.S., a smaller-than-anticipated decline of home prices was offset by worsening consumer confidence. And even though the Case-Schiller home price index came out ahead of expectations, it has seen a more than 30% decline since March and touched post-financial-crisis lows for the quarter. Cratering consumer confidence is problematic since tepid demand remains the largest impediment to recovery, and roughly 70% of economic activity is consumer spending. With signs pointing to growing pessimism, consumers may continue to focus on paying down debt instead of purchasing goods and services.
With that in mind, let's take a closer look at how the major indexes are faring and drill down on a few stocks making headlines.
Gain / Loss
Gain / Loss %
|Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)||96.99||0.78%||12,551.82|
|Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC)||10.98||0.83%||2,864.19|
|S&P 500 (Index : ^GSPC)||26.66||0.94%||1,328.80|
Source: Yahoo! Finance.
Despite all of the bad news, the three major indexes are up, with the Nasdaq seeing the largest gains. The Dow has only five of its components in the red, while 12 have over a one-percentage-point gain, including Bank of America (NYS: BAC) , where investors appear unfazed about the company's exposure to mounting European troubles. As the week continues, a boatload of economic data will be released, including new unemployment numbers, so expect volatility to return as May draws to a close.
In the meantime, I urge you to download our newest special free report: "These Stocks Could Skyrocket After the 2012 Presidential Election." Each candidate has their own plan for getting America back on track, and The Motley Fool will have you prepared to profit -- no matter who wins! Download your copy now, for FREE, and discover unique ways to profit from the election -- if you buy the right stocks before the next president's term begins.
At the time this article was published David Williamsonholds no position in any company mentioned.Click hereto see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not 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.
Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.