Wednesday was yet another mixed day in the stock market, one where the Dow Jones Industrial Average was in the red and the S&P 500 Index and NASDAQ were positive for most of the day. This was a day dominated by earnings but with almost no real economic news to speak of other than workers being late to work all over the Northeast due to the winter storm.
Oddly enough, the Dow Jones Transportation Average hit another all-time. These were the unofficial closing bell levels, which will likely change:
- DJIA -38.46 at 16,375.98
- S&P500 +1.14 at 1,844.94
- NASDAQ +17.24 at 4,243.00
Wednesday’s focus is on the most negative DJIA stocks, because it was these stocks that kept the DJIA down all day. In short, they dominated the DJIA but not at all in a good way. One exception was made today for a gainer, because without this gain it would have looked even worse for the Dow.
As a reminder, the DJIA is a price-weighted stock index. The S&P and NASDAQ indexes are all based on raw market caps or float-adjusted market caps, and are generally far more representative of a real market as a result.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was the big pig of the Dow on Wednesday. Big Blue is becoming “Big Who” to investors. The company keeps beating earnings estimates, but on cost management and on share buybacks. The real issue is an ongoing verdict of no revenue growth opportunities. IBM was the biggest drag and arguably the only reason the DJIA was negative most of the day. IBM was down 3.4% at $181.92 in the final minutes.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was negative on the day again, with its shares down over 1.1% at $89.56 in the final minutes of trading. More fears of international orders may be the culprit here, as well as a pre-earnings concern after the ex-dividend date went out last week. Caterpillar is on a multi-day slide.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) was down another 1% in the final minutes of the day, in part due to ongoing weakness in AMD’s guidance. Still, AMD is far smaller and this may be more excuse to sell rather than more woes over Intel.
Merck & Co, Inc. (NYSE: MRK) was down 0.9% at $51.36 late in the day when there was no real news. What is interesting here is that since Merck jumped to $53.12 from $49.88 on January 13, Merck shares have slid every day and this marks the sixth straight day of losses.
The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) was the exception to only being negative stocks dominating the Dow on Wednesday. The stock was up another 1.9% or $2.68 at $144.35 in the final minutes of trading. This helped to keep IBM’s and Caterpillar’s high point losses from dragging the DJIA down even further. This was yet another day of all-time highs for the aerospace and defense giant, again based upon strong aircraft orders expected to continue.