Intel's Pounding Holds Down the Dow


Earnings season is entering full swing, and a key miss is weighing on the Dow Jones Industrial Average today. As of 2:15 p.m. EST, the Dow is up just eight points, having been flat all day. Dow components are fairly mixed today, but one major laggard from the tech sector one strong conglomerate are standing out.

No love for Intel
Semiconductor leader Intel reported earnings yesterday, and despite results that topped downbeat Wall Street expectations, the company's outlook has investors scrambling. Shares are currently down nearly 7%, erasing most of the past month's 8% gains in a single stroke. Analysts and investors alike turned sour on the stock after Intel said it was preparing for a third straight quarter of falling revenue. Furthermore, the company's plan to spend a whopping $13 billion on capital expenditures did not endear many to Intel's future, particularly with the PC market's decline already weighing on the company's prospects.

Fortunately, earnings season struck a solid note with General Electric . The big conglomerate's shares are up more than 3.3% to lead the Dow. The company recorded profit growth of 7.5% and revenue growth of 4%, helped along by substantial gains from aircraft engine unit GE Aviation and rising profit at its financial arm, GE Capital. The company also got a good quarter out of China, and some analysts think emerging markets could be poised to help the company surge ahead over the course of the year.

Caterpillar didn't report earnings, but the company's still performing well today, with shares up 1.7%. Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock from "neutral" to "overweight," citing the growing housing market in the U.S. and an improving Chinese economy. Caterpillar's stock is still fairly cheap, and if the company can capitalize on improving economic fortunes, shareholders could stand to benefit in a big way.

Big Finance isn't having as nice a day as the industrial stocks are, however. Bank of America is down 1.4% so far, and American Express has fallen about 2%. B of A's shares continue to slide after its disappointing earnings crushed the stock yesterday. However, with the bank still hunting to reduce expenses while improving its capital position, this week's fall could be a mere aberration before further gains from the stock.

Intel's the story of the day, however, and investors can't help but be concerned about the company's direction. When it comes to dominating markets, it doesn't get much better than Intel's position in the PC microprocessor arena. However, that market is maturing, and Intel must find new avenues for growth. In this premium research report on Intel, our analyst runs through all of the key topics investors should understand about the chip giant. Better yet, you'll continue to receive updates for an entire year. Click here now to learn more.

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Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends American Express and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, General Electric Company, and Intel. 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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