Why This Stock Is Defying the Dow's Drop

The Dow is down slightly so far today, as this morning's economic reports were mixed. As of 1:30 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is down 13 points, or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) is down 0.26%.

This morning there were four U.S. economic releases:

Report

Period

Result

Previous

Consumer Price Index

November

(0.3%)

0.1%

Core CPI

November

0.1%

0.2%

Markit Flash PMI

December

54.2

52.4

Industrial

November

1.1%

(0.7%)

Source: MarketWatch U.S. Economic Calendar.

This morning the U.S. Department of Labor said the consumer price index fell a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in November. This was a bigger drop than the expected 0.2% fall and lower than last month's 0.1% gain.

US Consumer Price Index 1-Month Percent Change Chart

US Consumer Price Index 1-Month Percent Change data by YCharts.

The Department of Labor announced that the Core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 0.1% in November -- a slight slowdown from last month's 0.2% rise.

The third economic release was Markit's flash Producer Manufacturing Index, which rose around the world. In the U.S., the PMI rose from 52.4 to 54.2, handily surprising analysts who expected a decline to 51.8.

Source: Markit.

Yesterday’s big news was House Speaker John Boehner complaining that fiscal-cliff talks weren't proceeding well. After meeting with President Obama for less than an hour, he left the talks discouraged. He said, "It's clear the president is just not serious about cutting spending. But spending is the problem." The Motley Fool has created a special page that will be updated with all of our latest fiscal-cliff coverage to help cut through the daily noise and give you the information and analysis you need as an investor. Head on over for everything you need to know about fiscal cliff 2012.

With a mixed bag of economic reports and no news about the fiscal-cliff negotiations, it's no surprise that the market is down.

Today's Dow leader
Today's Dow leader is Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) , up 1.3% to $8.71. This morning Alcoa announced that its wheel and transportation business is opening a production facility in China. The Chinese market is big business for Alcoa, as it's the largest car market in the world. The company began selling wheels there in 2004. Alcoa has had a rough time, down 75% over the past five years. But Fool analysts Christopher Barker and Taylor Muckerman believe now is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to buy Alcoa at an absurdly low price. Click here for their take.

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