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Based on a single earnings report from last night, investors came into today's session expecting that it would be a horrible day, not just for that stock but for the entire market. Yet as has often happened in the past, the broader market managed to overcome even the swoon in its biggest stock, with the S&P 500 managing to inch up by a hundredth of a point. The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) managed an even stronger showing, finishing the day with a respectable gain of 46 points.
But even though the overall market overcame earnings headwinds, some stocks still felt the heat. Among Dow stocks, Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) was the biggest declines, falling more than 1%. Yet while the short-term fluctuations in Alcoa's performance have tended to coincide with news items about the current pace of global economic growth, the more important long-term consideration is whether Alcoa can successfully take advantage of cyclical weakness in the industry to bolster its future results. With steps to consolidate and pick up assets from competitors on the cheap, Alcoa is setting the stage for big gains if economic conditions cooperate.
Elsewhere, Under Armour (NYSE: UA ) fell almost 4% after announcing that its senior vice president in charge of its footwear segment had resigned. Gene McCarthy has spearheaded the company's aggressive move into territory dominated by archrival Nike (NYSE: NKE ) , so with Under Armour announcing earnings next week, investors are probably nervous that the departure may be a sign of problems with its footwear strategy.
Finally, OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX ) declined almost 3% as it got an analyst downgrade from KeyBanc Capital Markets. Even with office-supply chains suffering from increased competition from general-purpose retailers in both the online and bricks-and-mortar spaces, OfficeMax has seen a big recovery in its stock. As Fool contributor Rick Munarriz explained recently, the shares are cheap, and the company has taken steps to fend off the showrooming problems that have plagued big-box retailers in electronics and other big-ticket items.
Find out about Alcoa's long-term prospects in our premium research report, which details why Alcoa is worth a closer look because of its future prospects. For a Foolish investment perspective on this global giant, simply click here to get started.