Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Leads the Dow (.DJI) Lower

Yesterday’s sharp gains put a bounce in investors’ steps, but today the markets aren’t going for a repeat. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has sunk 72 points, or 0.47%, as of 2:15 p.m. EDT, and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)‘s stock is the anchor around its neck, along with downbeat global growth forecasts. Most members of the index are down today, with Verizon and several other big movers falling by more than 2%. Let’s catch up on the top stories you need to know.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)China slows further
The International Monetary Fund cut its Chinese growth projections for 2013 and 2014 today, now expecting the world’s second-largest economy to grow by 7.75% per year after earlier projecting 8% growth this year and 8.2% next year. China’s slowdown from its previous double-digit-percentage economic growth has hurt companies counting on the developing economy to fuel sales. Industrials in particular have been hit hard: Major China manufacturing player Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) saw its Asia-Pacific retail sales fall at least 20% in each of the last three months as reduced Chinese infrastructure spending hurts demand. Caterpillar’s stock hasn’t reacted badly to the news, however, with shares gaining 0.5% so far today to defy the Dow’s drop.

The biggest mover today isn’t threatened by a slower-growing China, however. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s shares have dived 2.3% so far to rank dead last on the Dow, despite positive reports that Samsung’s Galaxy S4 phone will support the carrier’s new, faster-speed LTE system when Verizon upgrades its network. Verizon’s update could more than double Internet speeds, according to a report from Bloomberg, although the majority of existing Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) phones won’t immediately support the upgrade.

Still, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s update to its LTE network is another move to keep the company one step ahead of its closest competitor in the American wireless industry, AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). AT&T’s shares haven’t reacted much to the news today, falling just 0.4%, but this company is losing ground against Verizon in the fight for customers. AT&T certainly didn’t narrow the gap between itself and its biggest competitor, adding fewer than 300,000 new contract customers in 2013’s first quarter — less than half of Verizon’s 677,000 new customers. And Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ)’s LTE update will only make customers less likely to switch to AT&T unless Ma Bell can keep up.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.