Chevron Stock Leads Another Dow Decline


The market's slump continues for a third straight day, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is back in the red again, with Chevron stock leading the index down. The blue-chip index has dipped back below 15,000 after surging to record highs last month, down 31 points as of 2:20 p.m. EDT. Stocks are down across nearly every industry today. Should you be worried, or are Wall Street's jitters just a temporary fluctuation this week?

Wall Street frowns, markets down
Tomorrow marks the release of May's job reports, and despite the decline in weekly jobless claims reported today, investors are showing anxiety about the pace of the U.S. economy's improvement. Unfortunately, Wall Street's polarizing views could mean disappointment for stocks no matter how good -- or bad -- the jobs picture looks. Poorer-than-expected jobs growth in May would indicate an economy struggling to get on its feet, while strong jobs growth could make Wall Street fret that quantitative easing could be slowed down soon.

Whatever the result, one thing is clear: This is a time when it's especially important not to follow the herd.

That's all Chevron's stock has done today, however, falling along with the broader energy sector. Strangely, Chevron's stock is on the downswing despite a release of good news. The Supreme Court of Argentina unfroze Chevron's assets in the South American nation, lifting an earlier embargo that had gone on for months. Chevron is looking to team up with Argentinian state-run energy firm YPF in developing the Vaca Muerta shale field, the world's second-largest shale-oil basin.

Argentina is anything but a stable business environment right now, but Chevron's pouring a significant investment into the deal with YPF. Bloomberg estimates that the companies' venture could amount to a $15 billion investment in total.

A few stocks are defying the Dow's drop today, and Pfizer ranks among the index's leaders, with shares gaining 2.1% so far. Today the company offered $25 million in upfront payments to small biotech firm CytomX for the development of cancer-fighting antibody therapies. CytomX could make more than $600 million in milestone payments if the deal meets all its goals, and success would mean even more strength for Pfizer's already substantial pipeline as the company lays the groundwork for its future financial foundation.

Verizon's shares haven't been affected by the big news involving this company today. The telecom firm's stock has jumped 2.7%, even though it's experiencing a public-relations nightmare. A classified court order released by The Guardian last night revealed that the firm was ordered to turn over business records of its customers regarding both domestic and foreign calls. Verizon didn't comment on the matter, and while the company certainly isn't at fault here, there's no telling whether investors will react poorly to this news if the case opens up even more revealing information. This is one story Verizon investors would be wise to follow.

American markets have hit new highs recently, and while this week's losses have put a dent in the Dow's 2013, it's been a good year for investors nevertheless. Still, investors and pundits alike are skeptical about future growth. They shouldn't be. Many global regions are still stuck in neutral, but their resurgence could result in windfall profits for select companies. A recent Motley Fool report, "3 Strong Buys for a Global Economic Recovery," outlines three companies that could take off when the global economy gains steam. Click here to read the full report!

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Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron. 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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