Despite a middling GDP report that showed 2.2% real growth in the first quarter, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) jumped before closing up 0.2%.
But these three companies didn't participate in the rally:
|Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG )||(3.6%)|
|Travelers (NYSE: TRV )||(1.2%)|
|Alcoa (NYSE: AA )||(1.1%)|
So what's going on with these companies?
Shares of P&G fell after it reported a 16% decline in net income over the same quarter last year. Although the consumer-goods giant earned more than analysts had expected, it forecasted that mandated price cuts in Venezuela will eat into its full-year profits. What's more, weak economic growth in developed countries and rising input costs are compressing margins.
After a year of heavy catastrophe losses followed by weak insurance pricing, Travelers finally reported strong earnings and improving underwriting last week. And over the past week, three of the company's officers took the opportunity to sell millions of dollars' worth of shares most likely acquired through stock options. Other financials, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , also fell slightly today. Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced no major policy changes to further boost economic growth or to indicate that rate increases might be coming. For now, it's a "stay-the-course" policy on interest rates.
The market may have taken a little bit of its economic frustration out on bellwether Alcoa. But durable goods, which added 1.13 points to GDP growth, was actually the strongest growth component in the first quarter. Car sales were a little bit weaker than expected, however. In all, the results don't seem like a big deal for the aluminum giant.
P&G, Travelers, and Alcoa were the worst performers today, but it's important for us to remember that it's long-term performance, not daily price fluctuations, that ultimately matter to investor returns. If you're interested in one stock that our chief investment officer picked to crush the market over the long haul, check out our brand-new report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." It highlights a company that is revolutionizing commerce in Latin America. For a limited time, you can get instant access to the name of this company -- and it's free.