Brazil Snubs Boeing and Ford Continues to Improve Technology

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is trading 100 points higher, up 0.6%, just before 3 p.m. after U.S. gross domestic product was reported to have grown a healthy 4.1% in the third quarter. That was stronger than previously estimated, as data showed consumer spending accelerated over the summer. Today's figure showed GDP grew at the fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2011 and the second-fastest since the recovery began in 2009. With that in mind, here are some industrial companies making headlines today.

Boeing F-15. Photo credit: Boeing

Inside the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) got no love from Brazil for a $4.5 billion contract to build 36 fighter jets over the next decade. Brazilian defense officials announced they had selected aircraft maker Saab over Boeing for the contract. Defense Minister Celso Amorim told reporters the decision was based on Saab agreeing to share more technology with contractors and that many parts for the jet would be made in Brazil, according to The New York Times.

While this is surely a disappointment for Boeing's defense business, investors should keep in mind that the company's commercial business just secured huge orders for its 777X that have boosted its massive backlog of orders to a value of more than half a trillion dollars.

Outside the Dow, 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) is trading more than 4% higher today after announcing Wednesday that it would acquire a portion of Xerox's (NYSE: XRX  ) Oregon-based solid ink engineering and development teams. The move will leverage both companies' 3-D printing capabilities to accelerate growth and cement leadership positions, according to 3D Systems. The acquisition will come at a $32.5 million cost for 3D Systems and expands on a 15-year collaboration between the companies that has produced 3D Systems' best-selling ProJet series 3-D printers.

"The stronger our marketplace leadership, the more powerful our economic model becomes," Avi Reichental, 3D Systems' president and CEO, said in a press release. "Simply put, a solidified position translates directly to higher revenue, higher profitability and greater earnings power over time and we are willing to sacrifice short term earnings to get there faster."

Ford's 2014 Fiesta. Photo credit: Ford.

Still outside the blue chips, Ford (NYSE: F  )  announced that 70% of its vehicle lineup will have Auto Start-Stop technology by 2017 which could improve fuel efficiency by as much as 10% in city driving. This is part of the Blue Ova's drive to make its entire vehicle lineup more fuel efficient.

In addition to Ford's Auto Start-Stop technology spreading across its lineup, the automaker is bringing EcoBoost engines' 1.0-liter turbocharged option to the 2014 Fiesta. Its 45 mpg highway rating is the highest of any non-hybrid, gasoline-powered car in America, according to Ford. These types of technologies have helped Ford surge in global markets.

Consider that Ford's Focus is the No.1 selling vehicle nameplate in the world, while the Fiesta is the No. 1 selling subcompact vehicle nameplate in the world. That would have been laughable a decade ago, but it's now reality that Ford is producing valuable and fuel-efficient vehicles as it continues to take market share from competitors.

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