After surging more than 140 points in early trading today, The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) cooled off late after comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that investors took to mean that additional stimulus could be less likely in the future. Still, the Dow managed to finish in the black, up 0.37%, while both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 dropped slightly.
The Dow got off to a good start today because of an unexpected interest rate cut from China, which many investors believe shows that the government is serious about maintaining a high level of growth. Still, some wonder whether the Chinese government is trying to get out in front of possible disappointing industrial data to be released this weekend.
But while the Dow as a whole gave up most of its gains late in today's trading session, there were some companies that fared considerably better than the blue-chip index.
|United Technologies (NYSE: UTX )||2.39%|
|Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG )||1.55%|
|Boeing (NYSE: BA )||1.35%|
United Technologies and Boeing helped lead industrials as the best-performing sector on the day. Boeing, through its massive commercial aviation business, and United Tech, with its Pratt-Whitney airplane engine business and recent huge acquisition of Goodrich, are both highly exposed to the booming aerospace industry. Already the world's second largest aviation market, China alone is expected to need 5,000 additional airplanes worth $600 billion over the next 18 years, according to Boeing. That's why the Chinese government's efforts to address slowing growth is certainly good news for both of these companies today.
Procter & Gamble was the second biggest gainer on the Dow today, rising more than 1.5%. The stock could use a few more days like today -- it's still underperforming the Dow year to date, down 6% versus a 2% gain for the index.
Outside the Dow, leading China search engine Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU ) rose a solid 2.8% on news that Apple will add Baidu as its primary search engine on iPhones in China. The world's most populous country remains a gigantic area of opportunity for Apple and its iPhone, though the device remains more expensive than many Google Android-enabled phones and is not currently offered by China's (and the world's) largest mobile company, China Mobile.
The big picture
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