It was a tough week for the markets, with fear hanging in the air over the fate of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program and over last week's market stumble. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 posted their worst weeks of the year, after declining 2.23% and 2.1%, respectively. The blue chip index lost 344 points over the past five days, with the worst single-day slide of 225 points coming on Thursday. The Nasdaq also lost 1.56% this past week, held at a reasonable loss thanks to Apple and the multimillion-dollar Tweet from Carl Icahn.

Before we hit the Dow losers, let's look at this week's best-performing component. Caterpillar , with a gain of 0.77%, was the only Dow stock that rose this past week. As gold, silver, and platinum rise, the value of the mining equipment Caterpillar makes also rises, and if prices can sustain their current levels, we're likely to see increased orders for its machinery as more people try to dig gold out of the ground.  

The big losers
Shares of Walt Disney fell 3.95% this past week, after the company held its three-day D23 fan convention last weekend. Disney hinted at the gathering that the company's theme parks may gain a Star Wars expansion, but management was tight-lipped about the upcoming Star Wars movie and its plot. The company also recently became one of the most shorted Dow components based on the number of days it would take to cover all the shares that have been sold short. One of the reasons investors are losing confidence in the company is increased competition to Disney's extremely profitable ESPN franchise from newcomer Fox Sports 1.  


Home Depot came in as the Dow's second worst loser this past week, as shares fell 4.55%, most likely because of rising interest rates. Since Home Depot is closely tied to the housing market, the company may experience slower revenue growth if higher interest rates affect housing sales. But as I mentioned earlier this week, that thesis has a lot of caveats built into it. Investors who believe in Home Depot's business and its ability to outperform the competition shouldn't worry too much about how interest rates may affect the company in the short term. 

Finally, the Dow's biggest loser of the week was Cisco , which lost 6.83%. Wednesday night's earnings report met Wall Street's expectations, but the company lowered its guidance for the remainder of the year and announced plans to reduce its workforce in response to potentially lower revenues in the coming months. The job cuts sank the stock, and my colleague Rick Munarriz asked a great question yesterday: How does the company plan to meet its objectives for business and product growth if it's laying people off? That's a question investors are likely to bring up in the future if Cisco continues to miss projected growth rates.  

The other Dow losers this week:

(For more information on a stock fell lower this past week, click on the appropriate link.)

More Foolish insight
On weeks like this, investors who own safe, reliable, dividend-paying stocks can still rest well at night knowing their money is relatively safe. With that said, while dividend payers they don't garner the notability of high-flying growth stocks, they can and will still make you rich while they're also less likely to crash and burn. And over the long term, the compounding effect of the quarterly payouts, as well as their growth, adds up faster than most investors imagine. With this in mind, our analysts sat down to identify the absolute best of the best when it comes to rock-solid dividend stocks, drawing up a list in this free report of nine that fit the bill. To discover the identities of these companies before the rest of the market catches on, you can download this valuable free report by simply clicking here now.

The article Last Week's Worst Performing Dow Components originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Bank of America, Apple, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Walt Disney, and Johnson & Johnson. 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, American Express, Apple, Bank of America, Chevron, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, UnitedHealth Group, and Walt Disney and owns shares of Apple, Bank of America, General Electric, Intel, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, McDonald's, Microsoft, and Walt Disney. 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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Income Investing

Grow your nest-egg.

View Course »

Bonds for Beginners

Learn about fixed income investments.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum