Caterpillar Scourges the Dow

It's not as devastating as Friday's 2.2% loss, but the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) nonetheless extended its slide to four days, dropping 0.14% on Monday. Today investors were on edge as fear and uncertainty spread throughout the market, with the 10-year Treasury note still trading around record lows.

Technology was one of the sectors that led the broad markets today as the Nasdaq finished the day just shy of half a percent up. However, financials and industrials took a hit as news of slowing Chinese GDP returned. One of the biggest losers of the Dow components was Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) , dropping 2.64%. Without Caterpillar, the Dow would have finished even on the day.

General Electric (NYS: GE) also took a plunge, dropping 2.1%, That particular drop could be a sign to buy the $192 billion conglomerate, as Barclays published a report today detailing a number of reasons that GE should be worth 30% more in the next few years.

The other hard-hit sector was financials, as long-term interest rates are still at record lows with no relief in sight and low 10-year Treasuries are taking their toll. JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM) is off 2.9%, and today's most active stock, Bank of America (NYS: BAC) is down 1.7%.

What's next
Today was relatively quiet as news from overseas didn't directly swing the market one way or the other. Also, there weren't any telling domestic reports released today, so this can basically be described as a wait-and-see type of day. However, the markets could potentially see a few heavily volatile days, starting on Wednesday, when the European Central Bank will meet to discuss pressing economic issues and possible interest-rate cuts.

Probably the biggest day of the month will be June 17, as the Greek election determining who will have the most influence between New Democracy and the Syriza party will commence. This election could put downhill momentum on Greece's separation from the EU if the Syriza party rejects bailouts and moves the country back to the drachma.

Following the Greek election on June 19-20, the Federal Open Market Committee will hold its first meetings after last week's horrendous jobs report and slowing economic activity. The meetings could bring about another round of quantitative easing to once again give the economy a kickstart.

This month is sure to be volatile as the uncertainty and fear are likely to persist for the near term. The way to invest in turbulent times is by purchasing solid companies with a long-term outlook. To get a start in the right direction, check out The Motley Fool's special report describing 3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich. The free report details three fabulous companies and offer advice on how to build your nest egg so you can retire comfortably -- get your report now, as it will be available for only a limited time.

At the time thisarticle was published Joel South owns shares of no company listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America and 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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