Europe Takes Another Whack at the Dow

A day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) nosedived, the markets are back in the red after giving back early-session gains. The index has slid for most the day, down 64 points, or 0.5%, as of 2:25 p.m. EST. Unlike yesterday, a few stocks have managed to squeak out gains today -- but most members of the Dow are solidly in the red again. One sector in particular has managed a nice rebound, but overall, it's another forgettable day for investors. Let's go around the Dow to see who's making ends meet and who's sliding yet again.

Another down day
As they did yesterday, European concerns are hanging over the heads of investors. Thousands of European Union workers went on strike across the Continent today over further budget cuts. This comes on the heels of yesterday's announcement by the European Commission, which claimed that the eurozone's recession will likely be worse than expected and will continue on for some time. Combined with a report detailing a likely delay for a decision on releasing Greek bailout funds, these events are exacerbating fears of total economic chaos in Europe.

Europe unloaded on manufacturing stocks, which are closely tied to the performance of the economy. Both Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) and Alcoa (NYS: AA) rank among the top Dow losers of the day, both down more than 1%. These two stocks have lost more than 4% over the last five days alone, and their losses approach or exceed double digits over the last six months. So if you think economic fears are overblown, now could be a great entry point to pick up these manufacturing leaders.

Although tech stocks are a mixed bag today, Cisco (NAS: CSCO) is leading all Dow members lower, down more than 2%. The company will report earnings next Tuesday, and with the stock sinking 11% over the past month alone, investors seem fearful that bad news is in the company's future.

Time to buy the dip?
In a bit of good news, however, financial stocks managed to make up a little ground after yesterday's calamitous outing. Bank of America (NYS: BAC) , which ranked among the worst-hit Dow stocks in the post-election carnage, actually leads the index today with gains of 2.4%. Investors are likely jumping in on the dip, but fellow riser JPMorgan (NYS: JPM) also reported it had gained approval from the Federal Reserve to buy back up to $3 billion in shares. The bank had previously suspended buybacks in May after its massive derivative-trading loss, and the stock is up almost 0.6% today.

It seems some optimistic investors are on Bank of America's bandwagon after yesterday's sell-off, but is this much-maligned pillar of our financial industry really a buy? To learn the facts you need to know about the most talked-about bank out there, check out our in-depth company report on Bank of America. The report gives you in-depth details about Bank of America's outlook, including three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Just click here to get access.

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