Why These Dow Stocks Fell Today


The Department of Labor released some very encouraging numbers on the jobs front this morning. In November, 146,000 jobs were created, whereas most economist were only expecting about half that number. This left many asking this morning: What would have happened if Hurricane Sandy had not caused so much damage? On the other hand, the preliminary University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was released this morning, and it indicated a big drop. The reading of 74.5 was much lower than the last reading of 82.7 and far below analysts' estimates.

With this news, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 56 points to 13,130 as of 1 p.m. EST. So far during today's trading session, the index is mixed, with 11 of its 30 blue-chip stocks moving lower. Let's take a look at what's causing a few stocks to lose out today.

Today's big Dow losers
Shares of the Dow's telecommunications companies, Verizon Communications and AT&T are down by 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively. The drops come after a report from T-Mobile was released yesterday explaining how the company will soon become an iPhone carrier and saying it will stop subsidizing smartphones. T-Mobile is the last big service provider to offer the iPhone and will become the first to stop subsidizing cell phones, a move which will help the company cut costs and attract customers who have become frustrated with the restrictions of long-term contracts and the inability to upgrade phones when they want.

Cisco's management laid out its midterm growth strategy this morning. It explains how Cisco looks to become the world's leading technology company and is trying to do so through software, security, and services. The company believes these areas will see an increase in demand in the coming years and wants to be ahead of the competition when that happens. Shareholders must not agree with the company's new plan, because shares are down 0.7% so far today.

Shares of Microsoft are down 0.9% today after a report released by Brian Blair, a top analyst at Wedge Partners, indicated that the Surface tablet is in some trouble. He believes the main reason the Surface is performing poorly is the high price point. He also indicated that it will continue to struggle unless Microsoft cuts the price for the tablet and keyboard to around $600. These remarks mimic the comments from many other analysts and consumers. The Surface as a product is likely no better or worse than the top-of-the-line tablets made by other companies, therefore the price is the only real area to compete on, and right now Microsoft is losing badly. However, the major concern with reducing prices is its potential effect on margins.

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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Microsoft. 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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