It's a full-on fiscal-cliff rally on the markets today, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is on a tear. As of 2:15 p.m. EST, the Dow has surged to gains of 116 points, or 0.9%, to eclipse the 13,300 mark. Only four stocks are in the red today, and half of the index's members are sitting on gains of more than 1%.
Optimism at last on the fiscal cliff
Industrial stocks threatened by the fiscal cliff's coming are rallying today after House Republicans announced continued negotiations while working on an alternative solution to the measure. Dow members Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Alcoa (NYSE:AA) have picked up 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively. With both stocks down around 5% for the year, a coming solution to the fiscal cliff could breathe some optimism back into the shares.
Industrial conglomerate United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) and aerospace manufacturer Boeing (NYSE:BA) have also gotten in on the sector's rally, gaining 2.8% and 1.4%, respectively. Between an improving economy and housing's rebounding fortunes, avoiding the fiscal cliff could be the last big step to prepare industrial stocks for a great start to 2013.
Health care insurer UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) is also having a solid day, up more than 1% so far. UnitedHealth and fellow insurers are threatened by the decline in Medicare payouts that would accompany the fiscal cliff's passing, which could threaten their revenues and margins in the near future.
GE can't get a grip
There are few losers on the Dow today, but General Electric (NYSE:GE) is bound and determined not to participate in the rally. Shares of the massive conglomerate are down 2% -- more than 1.4% lower than the next-biggest loser, Verizon (NYSE:VZ). Rumors are swirling that GE may look to acquire Italian aerospace parts manufacturer Avio in what could be a multibillion-dollar purchase. Between that, GE's lowered guidance for full-year 2012 sales, and CEO Jeffrey Immelt's statement that fiscal-cliff fears hurt this year's business, it's a turbulent day for investors in this company.
Dan Carroll has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend UnitedHealth Group. 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.