These Stocks Are Defying the Dow's Drop

Having notched the best weekly performance in more than a year last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is down 76 points, or 0.57%, as of 1:17 p.m. EST. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) is down 0.54%.

There were no economic releases this morning. Last week the Dow finished up 497 points, or 3.84%. That was the Dow's best weekly performance since the week ending Dec. 2, 2011. Now the market is retreating slightly ahead of earnings season, which starts tomorrow with the earnings of Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) .

Alcoa is expected to report after tomorrow's market close. According to Yahoo! Finance, analysts expect the company to report earnings per share of $0.06. Estimize, a "wisdom of the crowds" estimates community, expects Alcoa to earn $0.07 per share. Alcoa is a cyclical company whose results fluctuate with the economy. The company is largely seen as a bellwether of the economy.

Given a booming last week and no news today, it's no surprise that the market is down.

Today's Dow leader
Today's Dow leader is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) , up 1% to $15.30. 2012 was a terrible year for HP: The stock finished the year down 47% thanks to two $8 billion-plus writedowns, a declining market for PCs, and accusations of fraud against the former CEO of one of its acquisitions. Last week the company announced in a filing that it continues to consider selling off underperforming divisions. With such a beaten-down stock, value investors are getting interested. The stock has rallied 20% in the past month as some investors begin to see HP as a steal.

Second for the day is McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) , up 0.78% to $0.57. The only company-specific news is that McDonald's is expanding its test of chicken wings. There are some things to like about McDonald's, including its 3.5% dividend yield and international growth opportunities.

If you'd like to learn more about McDonald's, our top analyst on the company sheds light on whether McDonald's is a buy at today's prices in our premium research report on the company.


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