Last Week's Big Dow Losers


With a truly mixed bag of earnings reports, falling jobless claims, and 2.5% growth in the United States' gross domestic product during the first quarter of 2013, investors had a lot to chew on this past week. In all, though, the markets performed quite well, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 165 points, or 1.13%, and now sits just a few hundred points away from the 15,000 mark at 14,712. The S&P 500 performed slightly better, rising 1.73% or nearly 27 points, and also sits just a few points shy of the 1,600-point milestone. But the big index winner of the week was the Nasdaq, which gained 2.28%. The technology-heavy index has been much more volatile during April, as it has led the other two indexes both in gains and declines every week this month.

Before we hit the Dow losers, let's look at the index's big winner of the week: DuPont , which ended the week higher by 7.54% after gaining 4.13% on Tuesday alone. The big move came as the result of DuPont's Q1 results, in which it matched expectations on revenue, beat estimates on earnings per share, and raised its dividend by 5%. The company also reaffirmed its 2013 full-year forecast, which is 2% to 7% higher than what DuPont posted in 2012.

The big losers
's stock fell 3.23% this past week after the company released its earnings report, which clearly indicated that its closest competitor, Verizon, is gaining market share on the cell-phone side of the wireless business. AT&T did report that it added 269,000 new customers, but the problem was that most of the new subscriptions came in the form of Internet-only accounts. This means customers are adding tablets and other mobile devices to monthly wireless accounts, which is a good sign for the whole industry, but cell-phone subscriptions carry much larger profit margins over the long term.

Procter & Gamble was the big Dow loser this week, as shares lost 5.31% of their value over the past five trading sessions. The household-items and health-care manufacturer missed on the top line but beat estimates where it matters -- on the bottom line. However, the stock headed lower after the company revised future quarterly estimates downward. Management believes the economic recovery will be "choppy" during the remainder of 2013. Personal-care items were particularly a weak area, while the detergent and cleaning products performed very well.

United Technologies also released earnings this past week, and the stock fell 2.22% because of what investors saw in the announcement. Although the company beat earnings-per-share estimates of $1.29 by a dime, United Tech missed on expected revenue of $14.9 billion when it reported sales of just $14.4 billion. In addition, even though the company beat on the bottom line, it maintained its full-year EPS forecast of $5.85 to $6.15 per share, while analysts are estimating $6.11. This has led some investors to believe the middle half of the year may get tough, which prompted the sell-off this week.

Shares of Pfizer fell 3.12% this past week despite the announcement that the $0.24-per-share dividend will remain for at least one more quarter. One main reason for the drop was that European officials rejected the company's rheumatoid arthritis drug Xeljanz. The FDA approved the drug for use back in November, and Pfizer has already announced that it will appealing the European decision.

Another negative factor playing on Pfizer this past week was the poor earnings report from Bristol-Myers Squib, and since Pfizer hasn't yet announced, shares may be sensing weakness industrywide.

Other Dow losers this week:

  • , down 0.87%

  • Coca-Cola, down 1.31%

  • , down 1.81%

  • , down 0.93%

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Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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. The Motley Fool recommends 3M, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Procter & Gamble, and UnitedHealth Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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