A huge amount of important economic news from around the world makes it tough to decipher exactly what might be responsible for the stock market’s movements this morning, but that in itself shows just how big an impact uncertainty has had in driving the market downward from recent record highs. Overnight, the Japanese stock market plunged once again, falling 4% as comments from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe failed to have as strong an effect as some investors had hoped. Mixed data in the U.S. showed weaker-than-expected job growth and factory orders, stronger-than-expected service-sector activity, and favorable trends in labor costs and productivity, failing to answer any questions and leaving investors once again speculating about whether the Fed will taper off its bond-buying in the near future. The net effect was a loss for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), which is down 96 points, or 0.63%, as of 10:45 a.m. EDT, while the broader market has lost a similar amount in percentage terms.
Among the morning’s worst decliners was Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), which has fallen 1.6%. News that two companies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will merge into a $15 billion joint venture reflects the need throughout the aluminum industry to cut costs and find potential synergies, and Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) has been making its own efforts to take advantage of opportunities among the weaker players in the industry. Nevertheless, with the joint venture expected to increase output, it could lead to extended periods of low prices, further hurting Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA)’s long-run prospects.
Finally, beyond the Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:.DJI), Chinese solar stock JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:JASO) has dropped 9.1% following an analyst downgrade. Despite soaring sales during the past quarter, with particularly strong growth in the Japanese market, JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:JASO) still isn’t close to making money and has to rely on the potential for module prices to rise once some of its Chinese competitors drop out of the picture. Funding sources continue to provide financing to many struggling Chinese solar companies, and this forestalling of the day of reckoning is bad for companies like JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (ADR) (NASDAQ:JASO) that would benefit the most from a shakeout.
The article Guess What’s Driving the Dow Down Again originally appeared on Fool.com is written by Dan Caplinger.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS). The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney.
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