A decline in the markets today marked the second straight day of losses before the start of earnings season Tuesday. Uncertain that results would impress, Wall Street sold off American bellwethers of industry in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) on a day characterized by low volume. The index ended up falling 55 points, or 0.41%, to close at 13,328. 

Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE:HPQ) stock, which has experienced a bit of a reversal of fortune lately, led the Dow higher with 1.5% gains today. After a 2012 in which HP owned the dubious distinction as the worst performer in the 30-stock index, shares are up 8% in 2013. 

Alas, the New Year brings different twists of fate for everyone, and that twist is turning out to be extremely painful for industrial giant Boeing (NYSE:BA), which ended Tuesday as a major drag on the index for a second straight day, shedding 2.6%. The shares continued their precipitous decline today as United Airlines officials reportedly discovered the faulty wiring responsible for a fire that started on an unoccupied 787 Dreamliner yesterday in Boston. The scheduled return flight out of Massachusetts on a different 787 today experienced a fuel leak and couldn't take off. Yikes. 

Setting the pace for corporate America, Alcoa (NYSE:AA) reported earnings after hours, beating revenue expectations and matching profit forecasts. The aluminum producer projected a 7% increase in demand for the metal in 2013, a gradual improvement from the 6% bump seen in 2012.

Disk drive producer Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) released preliminary results for the second quarter, predicting revenue of $3.6 billion. After falling slightly during normal trading hours, the stock has jumped more than 2% after hours.

John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

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