The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which consumer goods editor and analyst Austin Smith discusses topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Austin outlines four things Alcoa investors should be watching today. The first is the performance of the automobile and aerospace sectors. Aluminum is key in both of these industries and strong sales in either could indicate large aluminum demand coming down the pipeline. The second is economic expansion or retraction from China. The region is a bit of a double-edged sword for Alcoa, but it's a potentially massive market. Because energy costs are a big expense in Alcoa's production process, investors will want to keep an eye on natural-gas price swings as well. The last trend to watch is construction. Besides being a larger economic indicator, a spurt in construction would also increase demand for aluminum.

Alcoa investors who were tuned in a few weeks ago likely saw blowout earnings for the quarter, starting off earnings season with a bang. You can learn about the other companies to watch this earnings season in our report: "5 Stocks Investors Need to Watch This Earnings Season." The report won't be available forever, so we invite you to enjoy a free copy today. You can click here to access your report -- it's totally free.

Austin Smith has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and Lockheed Martin. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.