3 Dow Stocks That Soared While Facebook Crashed Today

The Dow Jones Industrials Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) soared in early morning trading, fell back a bit, and then rallied to close the day up 1.01%. As impressive as that closing figure is, though, it was still outpaced by the other two major indices.

Index

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average +125.9 +1% 12,581
Nasdaq +33.5 +1.2% 2,871
S&P 500 +14.6 +1.1% 1,332

Today's highfliers
The Dow's performance would have been even better, except that the two highest-performing stocks today -- Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) and Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) -- are also the index's lowest weighted. That means that Bank of America's 4.1% rise contributed only 2 points of the Dow's 125-point gain for the day. Alcoa contributed about the same amount. Fortunately, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) , the third biggest winner today with a 2.9% gain, is the fourth most heavily weighted component on the index and picked up the slack with about 19 of those 125 points. That makes it the most significant stock on the Dow today, driving more of the index's gain than any other company.

So what is it that had our earth mover all riled up today? Reports of extra stimulus from China. Caterpillar is a cyclical stock and tends to exaggerate the broad market's movements up or down, so extra spending in China, particularly on infrastructure, should benefit it in an outsized way. This also explains Alcoa's big surge as it, like Caterpillar, is a cyclical stock courting China in a big way.

And what's a day on the markets without talking about everyone's most hated IPO, Facebook (Nasdaq: FB  ) . The company dealt a 10% blow to investors today, crossing below $30 for the first time since going public, a far cry from its open at $45. The plunge has sent options activity for the stock through the roof as traders look to cover their behinds against further losses. This is just another chapter in what fellow Fool Eric Bleeker has called The Tragedy of Facebook: How Wall Street Robbed Main Street America. Of course, this all could have been avoided if investors had followed the advice in our newest report: Forget Facebook -- Here's the Tech IPO You Should Be Buying. It's not too late, though: You can still learn about our favorite social-media company by reading more here. It's totally free.

Austin Smith owns no shares of the companies mentioned here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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