Why the Dow Fell 100 Points Today

The Dow had a rough day today, falling over 100 points (0.8%), as investors were reminded that the European debt crisis remains far from solved. Spain put off making a decision on seeking a bailout, and German unemployment fell for the fifth consecutive month. In the U.S., consumer spending increased less than economists had predicted. All this added up to a triple digit loss for the Dow.

Looking at individual stocks, Caterpillar was the Dow's biggest loser, dropping 1.9%. Competitor Joy Global recently cut its full year profit and sales forecasts on slowing commodity demand in China and the U.S. Still, this is a stock that's well-positioned for emerging market growth, and trading at a very attractive 10 times earnings. Outside the Dow, First Solar plunged 18% today, after a report said it would cut deliveries to a $1.8 billion power plant that it's building in Arizona. Check out the video below for more on these individual stocks, and more on the bad news out of Europe today.

Caterpillar might have had a bad day today, but it remains the market share leader in an industry in which size matters, and its quality products, extensive service network, and unparalleled brand strength combine to give it solid competitive advantages. Does that make this American icon a buy? Read all about Caterpillar's strengths and weaknesses in our brand new report. Just click here to access it now.

The article Why the Dow Fell 100 Points Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Brendan Byrnes owns shares of Caterpillar. The Motley Fool has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend First Solar. 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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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