3 Dow Stocks That Soared Before the 4th

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

In a holiday-shortened week, it's important not to put too much weight on the movements in the stock market. On extremely light volume, though, stocks managed to put together a healthy rally today, with the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) rising more than half a percent and the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) doing even better, finishing up 8.5 points to close at 1,374.

Positive economic news on factory orders helped push pure industrial stocks higher. Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) and Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) both climbed more than 3%, as both rely on factory-related activity for their respective businesses. For Caterpillar, the stakes are high, as the company's stock has given up all of its gains from early 2012 and now trades lower on the year. Yet the declines are based on the assumption that global growth will inevitably slow down. If that proves not to be the case, then Caterpillar could return to its recent highs -- a move that would bring nice profits for buyers at current depressed levels.

Meanwhile, as the Dow component with the smallest market cap, Alcoa has been bouncing along the bottom for months. As useful as more orders would be for the company, the biggest piece of news will come when Alcoa announces its earnings next Monday afternoon. Year-over-year earnings will fall substantially, but if the aluminum maker can beat analyst consensus estimates, it could go a long way toward proving that the stock may have hit bottom.

Among other winners, Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) rose 2% to reach another multiyear high. In general, the retail sector was weak, as concerns about less robust sales activity throw a wrench in the profit stories for retailers. But Wal-Mart is poised to profit from other retailers' problems, especially those linked to a slow economy that encourages thrift over big spending. Even if the economic recovery remains sketchy at best, Wal-Mart could keep rising from here.

Don't stop believin'
If your stocks made money today, congratulations! But great long-term stocks can take decades to give investors the full measure of their profit potential. Learn more about finding those long-term winners in The Motley Fool's latest special report, where we discuss three Dow stocks that combine dividend strength and growth prospects. The report is absolutely free, so get your copy today.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter, @DanCaplinger. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (12)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1932677, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/24/2016 12:00:46 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:47 PM
^DJI $18145.71 Down -16.64 -0.09%
^GSPC $2141.16 Down -0.18 -0.01%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
AA $26.88 Up +0.19 +0.71%
Alcoa CAPS Rating: ***
CAT $86.33 Down -0.30 -0.35%
Caterpillar CAPS Rating: ***
WMT $68.34 Down -0.39 -0.57%
Wal-Mart Stores CAPS Rating: ***