These Blue Chips Are Tanking the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Despite a successful short-term debt Italy auction on Wednesday, the euro is falling and giving more strength to the U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP).  As a result, equities (NYSEARCA:SPY) and commodities (NYSEARCA:RJI) across the board are in decline.  There are several names in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) down more than 1 percent.

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Financial stocks (NYSEARCA:XLF) in the Dow such as Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and American Express (NYSE:AXP) fell more than 3 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.  On Tuesday, Marty Mosby, managing director at Guggenheim Securities explained that BofA may need to raise up to $45 billion in capital because of increased financial guidelines.  Meanwhile, Visa (NYSE:V) and Mastercard (NYSE:MA) continue to overshadow American Express by hitting new all-time highs.

Despite raising tensions in Iran, oil is trading lower Wednesday.  As a result, oil giants such as Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) are helping to led the Dow lower.  “Closing the Strait of Hormuz for Iran’s armed forces is really easy , or as Iranians say it will be easier than drinking a glass of water,” Iran’s navy chief Habibollah Sayyari told Iran’s English language Press TV.

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As the U.S. dollar continues to strengthen, Dow material plays such as Alcoa, Inc. (NYSE:AA) and Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) are down more than 2 percent Wednesday.  Shares of Alcoa have declined 44 percent year-to-date, while Caterpillar is down only 4 percent for the year.

Technology Dow components such as Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) are both down more than 1 percent.  HP continues to refute exploding printer claims.  The company issued a statement explaining the no one reported a exploding printer due to a hacker, but still produced a firmware update just to be on the safe side.

Rounding out the Dow losers today is Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), the Dow’s largest pharmaceutical company.  Shares hit a fresh 52-week high on Tuesday, but are down more than 1 percent today.  Earlier this month, Fitch established a negative 2012 outlook for pharmaceutical companies due to patent expirations and soft demand.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at