Why the Dow Fell Flat Today

In today's edition, industrials editor and analyst Brendan Byrnes discusses the Dow Jones Industrial Average's uninspired day today. The blue-chip index finished essentially flat, dropping 0.03% on light trading. Investors appeared to be looking ahead to big events coming up, including possibly more guidance from the European Central Bank on the debt crisis and the minutes from the Federal Reserve's Aug. 1 meeting, to be released on Wednesday.

Looking individually, PC giant Hewlett-Packard was the Dow's biggest gainer, rising 2.9% ahead of its earnings release on Wednesday. Even though the stock has become much cheaper after dropping 22% this year, Brendan still doesn't see the stock as a compelling buy.

There was also a big deal in the health-insurance space, with Aetna agreeing to purchase Coventry Health Care for $5.6 billion.

Check out the following video below for more on which stocks were big movers today, as well as Brendan's opinion on the best way to play the market right now.

With the seemingly endless cycle of good news one day and bad news another, many investors may understandably be tempted to take their money and run far from the stock market. But that can be one of the biggest mistakes investors can make. Some of the most successful stock picks are great dividend stocks that are held for the long term. With that in mind, we've taken an in-depth look at all 30 Dow components and picked out our three favorite Dow dividend stocks that investors can buy right now. You can find the names and analysis of these companies in our brand-new free report: "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need." Read the report now -- it's absolutely free.

The article Why the Dow Fell Flat Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Brendan Byrnes and The Motley Fool have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Coventry Health Care. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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