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 (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI) 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 Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI) losers, let’s look at this week’s best-performing component. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), 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 Inc. (NYSE:CAT) 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 The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) fell 3.95% this past week, after the company held its three-day D23 fan convention last weekend. The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) 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 The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s extremely profitable ESPN franchise from newcomer Fox Sports 1.
The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) came in as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Indices:.DJI)’s second worst loser this past week, as shares fell 4.55%, most likely because of rising interest rates. Since The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) 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 The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD)’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.