Dow Mixed After Bernanke Testimony


The markets opened this morning optimistic that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's testimony to the Senate Banking Committee would mention another round of quantitative easing. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) slipped back toward even after Bernanke offered no indications of future action. As of noon EDT, the index has gained 0.10% and continues to run higher.

The testimony did not introduce anything new. Bernanke warned that "risks to economic growth have increased," especially via the Europe crisis, and noted slow employment growth but some recovery in the housing market. Many investors thought that these trends, coupled with yesterday's retail numbers, would motivate the Fed to act. But Bernanke promised nothing, and the market slipped down more than 0.5% before correcting higher.

On the bright side, manufacturing reversed its decline from last month as industrial production in the United States rose in June. The ability for factories to produce products in the face of elevated domestic unemployment and global woes gave investors a silver lining on an otherwise cloudy day.

The news did nothing to rally shares of Home Depot (NYS: HD) , which dropped 1.67% on the morning. Investors are still pessimistic from yesterday's retail numbers coupled with Janney Montgomery Scott's downgrade of the company from buy to neutral, and shares plummeted.

JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM) continued to slide as well. After helping inspire a marketwide rally with its good earnings report last Friday, JPMorgan has struggled to maintain momentum. Banks have seen significant declines in revenue so far this quarter, and JPMorgan's credit portfolio loss is discounting the firm, dropping it 1.4%.

Disney (NYS: DIS) soared to a 52-week high on the morning. Shares rose 3.8% following Bank of America upgrading the company from neutral to buy. Coca-Cola (NYS: KO) also surged after beating expectations in its earnings report. Shares spiked 1.84% after the company posted solid growth and EPS of $1.21, better than analyst estimates of $1.19.

That's the morning roundup. Stay tuned for more news from earnings reports and the Fed. Make sure to add these companies to your free My Watchlist feature to get up-to-date analysis whenever news breaks. To get started, click on any company below:

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Will Chavey owns no shares of the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney, Coca-Cola, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Home Depot, Walt Disney, and Coca-Cola. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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