Dow Fights to Get Into the Green


On a somewhat quiet day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average sits just below breakeven, down just 11 points as of 1 p.m. EST. The index opened the day lower and fell as much as 66 points in the early trading hours. After three sessions in which the index swung more than 100 points in either direction, today's smaller move is a welcome relief. Today is giving investors time to take in everything that has happened in the past few days and carefully plan their next move.

The other major indexes are also flat, with the S&P 500 down less than a point and the NASDAQ down 0.09%.

So who's down and why?
Shares of IBM are down 0.5%. There's no negative news pertaining to the company today, but just yesterday IBM launched a lower-priced server. The stock fell on the news, and today's drop is likely a continuation of yesterday's. A lower-priced server may allow IBM to compete in a number of markets, but the real concern is how this inferior product will hurt the brand.

The worst-performing Dow stock of the day is Merck , down 1% after the company was ruled to be on the losing side of an important lawsuit. A federal court found that Merck failed to warn doctors about possible negative side-effects of its osteoporosis drug Fosamax. The plaintiff was awarded $285,000, which is a drop in the bucket for a billion-dollar company like Merck. But with more than 4,000 pending lawsuits closely related to this one, Merck could soon be in a world of hurt.

Meanwhile, Intel is down 0.8%. The Microsoft Surface Pro, which runs on an Intel chip, was recently given some negative reviews. While there are a number of complaints about the tablet/laptop at this time, one of the issues -- a short battery life -- may be caused by Intel's chip. The Surface Pro does not look like it will be a big hit in the future, which will just put more pressure on Intel, which has limited exposure in the mobile-computing market.

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