Rollercoaster Ride Continues for Investors


On Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 62 points before gaining 111 points yesterday. Today the index has fallen as much as 120 points, but as of 12:45 p.m. EDT the Dow is only down 42 points, or 0.29%.

The rollercoaster ride the index has been on this week is the result of a mix of good and bad news: The fear and uncertainty over what will happen in Europe has caused investors to take money off the table, but positive durable-goods orders and rising housing prices gave market participants the courage to buy on the dips.

The other major indexes aren't performing much better today: The S&P 500 is down 0.27%, and the NASDAQ has lost 0.24% of its value.

Today's biggest Dow downers
After rising 1.4% yesterday on the news that the 787 Dreamliner test flight on Monday went well, shares of Boeing are down 0.9% today. Some investors speculate that although the FAA will approve the 787 to fly after grounding it on Jan. 16 for battery issues, officials will put a limit on the distance the aircraft will be permitted to travel between take-off and landing. The problem with this is that the 787 was designed to be fuel-efficient and save airlines money on the longer transcontinental flights. If the FAA imposes a restriction, orders for the plane may be canceled, and future sales would be in jeopardy.

Both of the Dow's banking stocks are moving lower today. JPMorgan Chase is down 2.1%, while shares of Bank of America have lost 0.8% of their value.

Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are both lower due to the banking issues in Europe and the fear that the financial industry in that part of the world is in danger of collapsing. Now that the Cypriot people have agreed to the EU's terms of a bailout, which include a haircut on bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros, we have to wait and see how citizens of other countries react and whether or not banking deposits begin shrinking in countries that may also need a bailout in the future. If that's the case, then a bank run may not be far down the road, and we all know that once the first domino falls, it's hard to stop the rest.

But the reason JPMorgan has fallen nearly twice as far as Bank of America today is that the officials who are prosecuting those involved in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme are now looking into the role that JPMorgan played. The prosecutors are attempting to determine whether the bank followed all legal requirements when reporting Madoff's transactions. JPMorgan has been in the hot seat for some time now, and this new investigation just reinforces any bear case against the company.

With big finance firms still trading at deep discounts to their historic norms, investors everywhere are wondering if this is the new normal or if finance stocks are a screaming buy today. The answer depends on the company, so to help you figure out whether JPMorgan is a buy today, I invite you to read our premium research report on the company today. Click here now for instant access!

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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513. 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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