Mixed Economic Signals Cause More Uncertainty, Fear


After we experience a day like today, not much can be said. The markets pulled back after being hit by a storm of economic data reports, which were both good and bad. The jobs number likely stands out as the worst, but it by no means singlehandedly caused today's decline. Other were the crude inventory levels report, the Fed's Beige Book release, factory inventories, issues in Japan, the Productivity and Cost report, poor mortgage loan applications. The list goes on.

What it all amounted to was increased levels of uncertainty about where the market is heading and what the Federal Reserve will do during with its bond-buying programs. This heightened level of uncertainty increased fear and led investors to sell the market off. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 216 points, or 1.43%, while the S&P 500 fell 1.38% and the Nasdaq declined by 1.27%. All but one of the Dow's 30 components ended the day higher while the S&P 500 heat map looked covered in blood.

With the markets red nearly across the board, a number of stocks have just been pulled lower by the tide. That is likely the case with Walt-Disney today, which lost 1.91% during the regular trading session. My Foolish colleague Dan Carrol noted earlier that Disney currently has the fifth highest-grossing film of all time with Iron Man 3. I should note that the movie is still in theaters, but based on the most recent numbers, it has brought in more than $1.1 billion in ticket sales. Furthermore, with a great pipeline to produce new films, parks, TV shows, and merchandising deals, the company not only makes money on the film but the whole franchise when it knocks out a blockbuster movie. Disney shareholders shouldn't worry about today or any other mild pullback. The company is performing well and will likely continue to do so for many years to come.

Earlier this afternoon, I discussed why JPMorgan Chase was likely declining. Now, let's take a look at what caused Bank of America to fall 1.95% today. Similar to JPMorgan, the bank is under pressure due to a large loss the financial institution will likely take in the coming weeks or months. B of A is in the midst of a legal battle, which, if all goes well, will only cost the company $8.5 billion. I say only because some analysts peg the possible loss at around $60 billion. The bank is currently attempting to convince a judge to approve the $8.5 billion settlement. If the judge doesn't, the price will definitely start moving higher.

Shares of Intel dropped 2.6% today after an analyst from JPMorgan Chase warned investors that the company's second-quarter results may be lower than expectations due to the weakness we have seen and will likely continue to see in the PC industry. While this is a very valid point, Intel has recently made some big moves into the mobile computing market, which will help the company long term. And investors should be focusing on what their investments will do over the next one-, five-, or 10-year periods, not the next week, month, or quarter.

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The article Mixed Economic Signals Cause More Uncertainty, Fear originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Bank of America and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Intel and Walt Disney. It owns shares of Bank of America. 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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