Dow 1, World 0

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Even with Monday's triple-digit losses in the rearview mirror, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) has started 2013 with a bang. Investors couldn't be happier with the index's 3.5% year-to-date gain. It's quite a contrast with the doom-and-gloom talk surrounding many world economies these days, particularly with Europe still in a slump while Japan and China race to see which Asian economy can pump stimulus money the fastest.

With that said, however, just how is the Dow performing against the world's major indexes to start the year?

The Dow goes one-up on the world
Turns out the Dow's surge isn't just an American thing: Only Japan's Nikkei has managed to significantly outperform the Dow so far this year as new Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's inflationary goals and loose monetary policies fuel a Japanese renaissance in stocks. Meanwhile, the Dow's gains have easily bested the performance of many fellow indexes around the globe.

^DJI Chart

^DJI data by YCharts.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index has performed fairly well, all things considered -- particularly as China comes off of last year's infrastructure and GDP slump, which had many economists fearful of a downturn. Despite the economy's recent upturn, some Chinese stocks have dragged down the country's markets. China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (NYSE: SNP  ) , also known as Sinopec, hasn't helped. Sinopec's stock has been slashed 4.8% to start the year. With the company pledging to invest $4.8 billion to improve refiners in order to clean up pollution, Sinopec's own clean-up -- which wasn't helped by the company's announcement of a share-sale program totaling more than $3 billion -- could take some time.

Germany's DAX certainly isn't holding its own against the Dow. As Germany struggles to handle the ongoing fiscal crisis that has swamped Europe, the nation's stocks have taken a hit. Siemens (NASDAQOTH: SIEGY  ) , which is reportedly considering selling lower-growth businesses, has seen its shares fall 5.3% so far in 2013. Deutsche Bank, however, has managed to defy the drop and post gains of more than 10% to start the year despite the European financial fears and reports that Italian prosecutors have launched an investigation into the bank's practices.

Meanwhile, France really isn't carrying its weight, with the CAC-40 index suffering worse than its counterparts. In addition to the European crisis, France has struggled with internal squabbling over higher tax rates proposed by President Francois Hollande that could derail business operations within the country. Some French stocks have managed to stave off terrible losses, such as pharmaceutical firm Sanofi, which has strong global ties and is down just more than 1% this year. Others have suffered far worse: Steel firm ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT  ) has seen shares fall an ugly 6.5% this year as the steel market remains down. And the uncertain future of China's infrastructure market has especially hurt the steel industry, whether companies are based in France or not.

Ultimately, however, the data shows us one thing: The Dow's off to a great start in 2013, and there are few markets that can boast this kind of success to kick off the year.

When all else fails, buy American
International economics has become a tricky game lately. Given the European debt crisis and slowing growth in China, many investors are worried about heady growth going forward. But fear not, for the future is made in America. Domestic manufacturing is poised to once again become the investment driver of the world, and all because of one disruptive technology. You can uncover the three companies that will become the American Steel of tomorrow in our analysts' new free report. Just click here to read more.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2236697, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/28/2016 9:48:15 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 13 seconds ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,339.24 110.94 0.61%
S&P 500 2,171.37 11.44 0.53%
NASD 5,318.55 12.84 0.24%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/28/2016 5:27 PM
^DJI $18339.24 Up +110.94 +0.61%
MT $6.28 Up +0.25 +4.15%
ArcelorMittal CAPS Rating: ***
SIEGY $117.55 Up +0.61 +0.52%
Siemens AG (ADR) CAPS Rating: ****
SNP $71.67 Up +1.57 +2.24%
China Petroleum an… CAPS Rating: **