Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



These Stocks Couldn't Save the Dow Today

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

Sometimes, the stock market just doesn't go where you think it will. On its face, good economic news from China would generally have gotten U.S. stocks off to a strong start, and better factory output and a drop in consumer prices in the U.S. show that inflation remains under control, even as the economy starts to perk up. But stocks nevertheless sold off into the weekend, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) finishing down about 36 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq saw bigger losses.

But several stocks did their best to hold the Dow up. Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) was a big winner in the average, rising about 1.6%. Hints of stronger economic conditions in China and the U.S. are doubly supportive of Alcoa's global business, especially as it relies on end-user demand from U.S. manufacturers, as well as Chinese infrastructure and construction projects, to bolster aluminum prices. If economies around the world can get measurably better, then Alcoa could finally see a turnaround to its long slide.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) was the biggest Dow gainer, finishing higher by about 1.7%. Former CEO Leo Apotheker argued yesterday that the entire HP board needs to share responsibility for the bungled acquisition of Autonomy, which recently led the company to have to take a massive charge due to alleged misrepresentations on Autonomy's part. Many have blamed Apotheker for pushing the deal too hard, but the key for long-term investors is that, while HP plays the blame game, the company is distracted from moving forward more productively. Still, investors clearly believe a turnaround is possible, given its jump from recent lows.

Finally, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) rose about two-thirds of a percent. Gauging from the behavior of F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV  ) , which dropped 3.5%, it appears that Cisco has gotten new confidence from investors that it can hold off up-and-coming rivals and maintain its leadership in the space. A better economy around the world should definitely help the industry leader holds its own.

Is Alcoa heading higher?
Today's boost in Alcoa shares could be just the beginning if the global economy is, in fact, poised to move higher. Alcoa is in prime position to take advantage of the growth that many experts expect from the aluminum industry. Based on this perspective, as well as several other company-specific factors, Alcoa may be a buy right now, and is certainly worth a closer look. For a Foolish investment perspective on this global giant, read our in-depth research on Alcoa. Simply click here to get started.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

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: 2155611, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/22/2016 8:03:31 PM

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 22 hours 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 4:00 PM
AA $26.88 Up +0.19 +0.71%
Alcoa CAPS Rating: ***
CSCO $30.15 Down -0.01 -0.03%
Cisco Systems CAPS Rating: ****
FFIV $118.07 Down -0.02 -0.02%
F5 Networks CAPS Rating: ****
HPQ $13.80 Down -0.30 -2.13%
HP CAPS Rating: ***