The Dow Heads Downward Once Again


The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down again. Just a day after gaining 99 points, the index fell 60 points just after the market opened. Only seven of the 30 components are in the black so far this morning.

With no economic data being released today, the market will focus mainly on earnings releases, though some positive news hasn't helped the Dow so far. Weakness in Europe continues to put pressure on the markets, as London was the only European market to see improvements in trading.

Some of the winners
Disney is off to a good start this morning after the media giant released better-than-expected earnings after the bell yesterday. Though net income fell 6% for the company's first fiscal quarter, adjusted EPS of $0.79 beat analyst estimates of $0.76 per share. Rising costs of acquiring sports programming for ESPN is one major factor dragging down Disney's media networks.

The company expects to see better results in the coming quarters as more films are set to be released and added attendance to its theme parks materializes with new attractions opening. Disney also confirmed that it is setting to work on a "stand-alone" Star Wars movie that will be released in 2015 and lead by Star Trek director J.J. Abrams.

Hewlett-Packard got a little careless by mocking the new deal that will take arch-rival Dell private. Stating that its competitor had a long, tough road ahead of it, the company may not necessarily be the right one to cast the first stone. This comes amid murmurs that the board of directors at HP is mulling over the idea of breaking up the company -- though this may merely be counted as the board considering all options. Regardless, investors believed HP when it said it would take advantage of the difficulties Dell may face and is ready to collect some of the disgruntled customers not willing to move on with Dell.

3M got a boost from the news that it will be increasing its dividend by 8% to $0.635 per share. The company's board also approved the rights for a $7.5 billion share buyback plan. Another great note for the company comes in the form of Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, who will be joining 3M's board of directors in April.

Bank of America is also up this morning, though there hasn't really been any new news about the company. But you know what they say -- no news is good news. The company may have some struggles ahead of it as lenders question the validity of the company's $8.5 billion settlement for its Countrywide division's questionable mortgage operations. Information has been released that suggests the questionable practices in the mortgage division continued long after the acquisition of Countrywide, putting uncertainty in the minds of investors waiting to hear if a judge will approve the settlement.

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Fool contributor Jessica Alling has no position in any stocks mentioned, but you can contact her here. The Motley Fool recommends 3M, Coca-Cola, and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Walt Disney. 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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