How the Dow's Dealing With the Greek Aftermath


Greece voted, and bailout proponents got the victory they wanted. But what many would have seen last week as good news got a negative response on Wall Street, as investors have apparently put the episode behind them and are instead moving on to worry about rising bond yields in other, larger economies in the eurozone. But after falling more sharply near the open, stocks made back all their losses as confidence among U.S. homebuilders hit a five-year high. Just before 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) inched up three points, while the Nasdaq was up half a percent.

Within the Dow, Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) was the big loser, falling more than 2% despite announcing an agreement with Procter & Gamble (NYS: PG) to provide IT services for the consumer giant. The multiyear contract will help P&G manage its internal processes to coordinate manufacturing, distribution, and sales in a more efficient way. The deal is a good example of what HP needs to strive toward to escape the low-margin world of hardware manufacturing. For its part, P&G fell more than 1% as well.

But Kraft Foods (NYS: KFT) was up more than 1%. As Fool analyst Cat Baab-Muguira discussed earlier today, Kraft's innovation in new food and beverage concepts is increasingly important in maintaining its competitive position atop the industry. As the company moves to split itself into its grocery and snacks segments, such innovation will be vital to help both parts of Kraft succeed.

Finally, Bank of America (NYS: BAC) was unchanged even after an analyst report called into question its ability to maintain high interest margins. A long period of low interest rates has helped many banks boost their interest margins, which are a key contributor to overall profitability. Any reduction in margins could hurt banks at a time when they're most vulnerable to a reversal.

The answer to the aftermath
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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Procter & Gamble. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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