The Dow Jones Industrial Average
Here are the Dow's top three gainers today:
Percent Change Today
Bank of America
Perhaps the main reason for the Dow's solid day was earnings from Alcoa. The aluminum giant reported after the closing bell yesterday and posted earnings of $0.09 per share, significantly higher than the $0.04 loss that analysts had expected. Alcoa also posted increased revenue of $6 billion, above the $5.77 billion that analysts were expecting. The company is considered a bellwether of the overall economy, because its aluminum is used in products that span all industries, everything from cars to planes to soda cans. Alcoa also reported solid growth in China and reaffirmed its forecast of 7% global growth in 2012.
Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase round out the top gainers on the day. As large banks, these companies are particularly sensitive to the overall economy. Bank of America in particular illustrated the point, as the company has dropped more than 10% just in the past five days before today, and more than 4% yesterday alone. But today's positive news helped drive the stock up 3.75%, and the company's share price has now appreciated almost 60% in 2012 alone.
Outside the Dow, Internet media company Travelzoo
The big picture
While it's important to pay close attention to the market, it's also important to not to get too worked up about what happens in the short term. The most successful stock picks are usually great business that can grow and continue to succeed over many years. Our analysts have uncovered one such company in our new report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." It highlights a company that is revolutionizing commerce in Latin America. You can get instant access to the name of this company -- it's absolutely free.
Brendan Byrnes owns no shares of any company mentioned above. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Travelzoo. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.