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 ) is down 107 points, or 0.67%, late in trading despite an absence of any broad economic news. It's possible the weak start to the holiday-shopping season is making investors nervous regarding consumer spending. Industrial juggernauts did their part to drag the Dow down today, with Boeing, General Electric, and Caterpillar trading down by 1.2%, 0.6%, and 0.7%, respectively. But outside of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, there are some industrial stocks making headlines for good reasons.
General Motors (NYSE: GM ) posted an excellent month of sales in the U.S. for November, delivering more than 212,000 vehicles for an increase of 14% versus a year ago. What's even better about the increase is that it wasn't a surge based on extra fleet sales. In fact, fleet sales declined 3% in November, and the surge was due to retail sales increasing 19%. General Motors' results compare favorably to those of its main competitors, Ford and Toyota, which posted gains of 7% and 10%, respectively.
Sales of all four General Motors brands were up by double-digit percentages, helping the company grow faster than the industry for the second consecutive month.
Chevrolet led the surge by volume, with more than 145,000 vehicles delivered for an increase of 12.6%. Second in delivery volume was GMC with more than 35,000 vehicles, which was good enough for a nearly 20% increase over last November. Cadillac continued its excellent year: Sales are up 25% year to date, with vehicles delivered up 11.4% to more than 16,000. General Motors' Buick brand brought up the rear, yet its gain of 13.4% to more than 15,000 vehicles is nothing to sneeze at.
Also in the automotive industry, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) has seen a wild ride in its stock price over the last six months and is up more than 15% today after good news hit the feeds.
The German Federal Motor Transport Authority cleared the Model S after it decided that recent vehicle fires weren't caused by manufacturer defects. Investors may have also put Tesla's small fire issues in perspective after Ford voluntarily recalled more than 160,000 Escapes for potential fire issues.
Perhaps even more importantly, Adam Jonas, a Morgan Stanley analyst, wrote this in a note today: "We believe negative news flow on Model S fires, while clearly disruptive to the stock's momentum, will not cause material damage to the business."
Outside of the automotive industry, 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD ) is trading lower today after it surged 2.3% yesterday following the announcement of its new ProJet 4500 3-D printer. It's the first and only continuous-tone, full-color plastic 3-D printer available.
"Leapfrogging from monochrome to full-color functional plastics redefines 'the possible' for designers, engineers, architects, marketers and artists," said vice president of product and channel management Buddy Byrum in a press release. "For the first time ever, users can get directly out of a 3D printer real-use parts, vibrant models, and functional prototypes in full color, quickly, accurately and affordably."
My Foolish colleague Steve Heller believes that the ProJet 4500 will be too expensive for the average Joe but that it could be a great addition for the right industrial consumer looking to save on costs.
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