The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) closed basically flat for the day but these three stocks did considerably better:
|Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ )||2.4%|
|Alcoa (NYSE: AA )||2.3%|
|Disney (NYSE: DIS )||1.4%|
HP doesn't report until Aug. 22, but that didn't stop it from boosting its non-GAAP earnings guidance. The better outlook probably came from cost reduction rather than strong sales, and it excludes writedowns. About those: The serial acquirer also announced an $8 billion goodwill writedown from the company's history of bad acquisitions. But it doesn't take a lot of good news to push up a stock that's trading at a sub-8 P/E.
Withdrawal orders from aluminum warehouses were up substantially today, and inventories remain low, signs that could point to better pricing for the world's largest aluminum producer. Recent speculation that European and U.S. central bankers might step in to boost the economy -- including comments today by the Bank of England -- can only be a good sign for industrial demand. Still, the news is mostly short-term price movements and speculation at this point.
Disney reported strong earnings, up 31% on the strength of The Avengers, which has became the third highest-grossing movie after producing $1.5 billion in sales. ESPN also continues to do well, and CEO Bob Iger noted it's seeing strong subscriber fees -- despite the weak economy
HP, Alcoa, and Disney al beat the market today, but as investors it's important for us to remember to keep our eyes on long-term performance. If you're looking for some ideas, the Fool recently highlighted "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need." You can get the full scoop on these three Dow dividend dynamos.