ExxonMobil's Iraq Concerns Hold Back the Dow

The economy contracted 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012. Sound the alarm bells -- we're headed into a recession!

OK, so things aren't quite that bad, and Wall Street has had a fairly muted response to a slight decline in GDP. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is only down 0.3% today, and the broader S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) has fallen 0.38%. One of the reasons there's not a widespread freakout is that we expected some of this decline. Government spending, particularly defense spending, was cut in Q4. Fellow Fool Morgan Housel parsed through the data earlier today to show how the core of the economy was actually doing fine during Q4, even if the overall number was down.

On a company level, ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) has dropped 1.1% today as CEO Rex Tillerson and company weigh what to do in Iraq. The company has contracts in the southern part of Iraq with the central government and has also signed a deal with the Kurdistan regional government to produce oil in the north. The company is walking a political tightrope, and investors are waiting to see which side will win and how much revenue may be at stake. 

Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) is up 1% today after earnings topped estimates and CEO Jim McNerney pushed the company forward, even as the company's 787 Dreamliner sits grounded by regulators. The company is sticking with lithium-ion battery technology and said it hasn't slowed down orders from suppliers because of the 787's problems. Boeing also says that despite the 787's timeout, the company expects neither a big financial impact nor delays in deliveries. For today, that's enough to satisfy investors.

For Boeing, which is a major player in a multitrillion-dollar market, the opportunity is massive. However, the company's execution problems and emerging competitors have investors wondering whether Boeing will live up to its shareholder responsibilities. In this premium research report, two of The Fool's best industrial-sector minds have collaborated to provide investors with the must-know info on Boeing. They'll be updating the report as key news hits, so be sure to claim a copy today by clicking here now.

The weak fourth quarter has failed to deter energy investors as well: Oil is up 0.4% on the day to nearly $98 per barrel.


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