Why DuPont, Travelers, and United Technologies Could Move the Dow Tomorrow

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) isn't moving too much today, with the benchmark down 15 points just after noon EDT. But tomorrow, DuPont (NYSE: DD  ) , Travelers (NYSE: TRV  ) , and United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) are all slated to give their quarterly reports. Combined with the release of the delayed September jobs data, those reports could make a big impression on the Dow tomorrow.

All three companies are scheduled to release their earnings before the bell tomorrow. As it happens, DuPont, Travelers, and United Technologies have also scheduled simultaneous conference calls to begin at 9 a.m. EDT.

DuPont could prove to be the most interesting of the three earnings releases tomorrow when the chemical giant gives investors the latest on its plans to become less of a chemical giant and more of an agricultural-productivity company. DuPont is following in the footsteps of its rivals, and its acquisition of Pannar Seed will give it even more focus on seeds, pesticides, and other specialty products designed to enhance farm output. With the company also trying to divest itself of its performance chemicals unit, DuPont is in the midst of a big transformation, and investors need to see how that transformation is progressing.

Travelers, meanwhile, is hoping for a much calmer third-quarter report than it saw last quarter. Travelers should once again benefit from a relatively quiet quarter in terms of major catastrophic losses, with the Atlantic hurricane season thus far failing to live up to the fury of recent years. Yet perhaps even more important for Travelers is stability in the bond market, which should help avoid a repeat of the big book-value declines that its bond portfolio caused in the second quarter.

For its part, United Technologies hopes to keep riding the wave of aerospace-industry growth higher through its Goodrich and Pratt & Whitney divisions. The government shutdown likely caused some disruptions at United Tech, but with things returning to normal, investors will want to see how the conglomerate expects to take advantage of opportunities both in aerospace and in the building automation and security field.

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  • Report this Comment On October 21, 2013, at 9:35 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    "DuPont is following in the footsteps of its rivals.."

    DuPont is a pronounced laggard to its chief competitors, BASF, Monsanto, Syngenta, 3M Corp, Novozymes, undsoweiter. And the also-ran status of DuPont is the very reason aggressive investors are banging at the door, demanding a break-up of this struggling, ill-managed conglomerate to release value for the owners, DD shareholders.

    ...funfun..

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