The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down after Cyprus secured a bailout over the weekend by agreeing downsize the country's financial sector and penalize depositors with more than 100,000 euros in their accounts. As of 1:20 p.m. EDT, the Dow is down 108 points, or 0.74%, to 14,404. The S&P 500 is down 0.6% to 1,548.
There were no U.S. economic releases today. Early this morning Cyprus agreed to a deal with the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund wherein the three institutions would would give Cyprus a $10 billion euro bailout. In return, Cyprus agreed to restructure the country's two largest banks and downsize the financial sector to a level in line with the EU average. The banks' equity holders, bondholders, and bank accounts holding more than $100,000 euros will all take large hits. Deposits in Cypriot banks are insured to 100,000 euros, so bank accounts with less than 100,000 euros will not be hit.
Now investors are worrying about a spread of fear across the EU banking markets as people with large accounts in weak banks realize they could lose a significant amount of money if their banks ever went bankrupt. For more on the situation in Cyprus, Fool contributor John Maxfield took a look at "Why Cyprus Matters."
Today's Dow leaders
Today's Dow leader is UnitedHealth , up 0.7%. This morning Arizona's Medicaid system announced that it would award acute-care contracts to UnitedHealth and Health Net. The big loser in this was Vanguard Health Systems, whose stock is down 7% on the news. The Arizona contract accounted for 13% of Vanguard Health's revenue. While not a massive mover for UnitedHealth, the Arizona win strengthens the company's position in Arizona and generally shows the strength of the company's operations and offerings.
Second on the Dow today is Cisco , up 0.6%. This morning Cisco announced it would acquire Austria-based SolveDirect, a provider of cloud-delivered services management. While the terms of the deal were not announced, Cisco is a serial acquirer, and this fits in with Cisco's strategy of pursuing multiple small acquisitions to keep the company at the forefront of the IT world.
Once a highflying tech darling, Cisco is now on the radar of value-oriented dividend-lovers. Get the low down on the routing juggernaut in The Motley Fool's premium report. Click here now to get started.
Third for today is Wal-Mart , up 0.3% after its competitor Dollar General reported better-than-expected sales and earnings. Dollar General also announced that it expects 10% to 12% sales growth in 2013. Investors have been worried about Wal-Mart this year, as its customers have been hit hard by the increase in the payroll tax and high gasoline prices. These fears rose when internal emails from Wal-Mart executives indicated that February sales were terrible. While there is some cause for concern, others are not so worried. Fool analyst Matt Koppenheffer recently talked about why Wal-Mart is one of his top two holdings; you can hear him explain here.
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