The U.S. industrial-output numbers were released this morning, and while the growth was slower than in November, output did continue to increase. December's reading indicates that output rose by 0.3%, while it gained 1% back in November. Manufacturing increased in December by 0.8% after climbing 1.3% in November. For the last quarter of the year, industrial output rose at a 1% annual pace.
While this data was not great, it wasn't bad, either, and as a whole investors seem to be more focused on earnings today. But some stocks are likely trading lower on other economic data, which we'll get to in a moment. As of 12:55 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down 35 points, or 0.26%. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) is down just more than a point, while the NASDAQ (NASDAQINDEX:^IXIC) is the best performer of the three, up 0.1%.
Another major economic reading released today was the World Bank's forecast for global economic growth. The bank believes the world economy will grow at a rate of 2.3% in 2013, accelerating to 3.1% in 2014. This is a downward revision from the report released back in June, which had pegged 2013 growth at a more robust 3%. It is believed the U.S. will only grow at a rate of 1.9% in 2013 due to fiscal consolidation. Nearly every major country and region had its grow rates cut from the prior report.
Some of the big U.S. companies seem to be taking more of a hit from the World Bank's report than others. Shares of chemical company DuPont (NYSE:DD) are down 1%. Like a number of other Dow components, DuPont relies heavily on the U.S. economy, and with such a low economic growth rate, DuPont will likely struggle in 2013.
Additionally, shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) and Alcoa (NYSE:AA) are down 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively. While both companies depend on a strong U.S., they also need developing nations and the Asian countries in order to prosper. The World Bank didn't paint a great picture for either, cutting China's growth rate for 2012 from 8.2% to 7.9%.
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