Last Week’s Big Dow Losers: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) and More

After falling 2.65% two weeks ago, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) lost another 1.28% this past week. A large chunk of that drop came on Wednesday, when the stock fell more 0.89% after Samuel Allen, Deere & Company (NYSE:DE)‘s CEO, said in a conference call this week that his company’s “near-term outlook is being tempered by uncertainties over fiscal, economic, and trade issues that are undermining business confidence and restraining growth.” Caterpillar and Deere will face the same economic issues both in the short and long terms, so what happens to one will probably happen to the other.

They say that insiders can sell for a number of reasons, but they buy for only one. I believe that to be true. Insiders might sell to diversify their holdings, pay for a large purchase, or avoid what they see as an upcoming fall in the stock price. But they’ll buy only if they expect the stock to go higher. At E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (NYSE:DD), insiders have purchased zero shares over the past nine months, but in just the past two months alone, they’ve sold more than 184,000 shares — and that was after selling only 118,000 during the previous seven months. Just based on the increased selling, it may be time to follow their lead and walk away from DuPont. The company’s stock closed down 1.17% for the week.

The Golden Arches also had a rough week, as shares dropped slightly more than 1%. On Wednesday, McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) lost 1.3% of its value after investors reacted to the possible minimum-wage increase that President Obama proposed the night before in his State of the Union address. A large percentage of the fast-food company’s workforce makes minimum wage, meaning costs would rise while margins and profits would tumble.

And finally, we come to the biggest loser Dow loser of this past week: The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) saw shares drop 3.48% during the past five trading sessions. Coke announced quarterly earnings this week that highlighted declining volume in major markets around the world. The world’s No. 1 beverage company did beat analysts on earnings per share, but it missed on revenue. The company also took a hit after PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) announced a new morning beverage and after a health-advocacy group asked the government to limit the amount of sugar found in food and beverage items sold in the U.S. — one of them, of course, being soft drinks.

The article Last Week’s Big Dow Losers originally appeared on and is written by Matt Thalman.

Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and PepsiCo and owns shares of McDonald’s and PepsiCo.

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