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Sometimes, things go well for the market even when you think there's no reason to be optimistic. Today, investors got nothing they wanted from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, as his Congressional testimony didn't give any specifics on further action to support the economy. Yet after initially falling on the testimony, stocks recovered their losses, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) ended up recouping all of its opening-bell gains and then some, rising 78 points to finish at 12,805.
But several Dow stocks couldn't get their acts together. Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) was the big loser in the Dow, falling 1.4% after analyst Janney Capital cut its ratings on the stock, as well as rival Lowe's. Janney believes that lower sales could hurt the industry, but as Fool analysts David Meier and John Reeves argue, a rebound in housing could push the stocks much higher.
IBM (NYSE: IBM ) fell 0.6%. The company releases its quarterly report tomorrow after the market closes, and analysts expect a nice pop of more than 10% in earnings per share. With Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) having reported generally favorable numbers but cutting its guidance for the third quarter, investors may be worried about IBM's prospects. But with IBM focusing less on hardware and more on services, IBM should give a much different picture of the tech industry tomorrow.
Finally, Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) fell another 0.6% today, coming perilously close to its lowest levels in roughly two decades. Alcoa would have benefited more than most other Dow stocks from anything the Fed did to push economic growth, as the aluminum company continues to struggle in an uncertain macroeconomic environment. Until things turn around more clearly, Alcoa is likely to remain stuck in the doldrums.
Don't fret about the Fed
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