It was a fairly quiet week for most of the market. Stocks traded in a narrow range, as earnings and economic data neither excited investors or sent them running. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down just 0.08% for the week, and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was up 0.12%. But there were three big movers on the Dow.
Alcoa (NYSE:AA) led the Dow by gaining 4.3% this week. The company jumped when Citic Group, a Chinese state-owned investor group, said it would invest $468 million in Alumina Ltd., whose main asset is World Alumina & Chemicals, a venture with Alcoa. The investment will be used to pay down debt and may allow the company to reinstate its suspended dividend.
General Electric (NYSE:GE) was up 3.5%, mostly gained when it was announced that Comcast is buying the remaining stake of NBCUniversal earlier than expected. GE will walk away with $16.7 billion for selling the 49% of the media company it still owned and plans to focus its future on more industrial investment. This was part of a broad plan to rid GE of businesses that didn't fit well together, and this will allow GE to return $18 billion to investors this year.
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) rounds out the list of big winners after gaining 2.3% for the week. The company jumped on Tuesday after Barclays announced a 1 billion pound loss and 3,700 job cuts over the next three years. The banking business is getting leaner, and that should mean more profits all around. A smaller Barclays investment banking unit, where most of the cuts will be made, also means more potential business for Bank of America going forward.
For GE, the recent financial crisis struck a blow, but management took advantage of the market's dip to make strategic bets in energy. If you're a GE investor, you need to understand how these bets could drive this company to become the world's infrastructure leader. At the same time, you need to be aware of the threats to GE's portfolio. To help, we're offering comprehensive coverage for investors in a premium report on General Electric, in which our industrials analyst breaks down GE's multiple businesses. You'll find reasons to buy or sell GE, and you'll receive continuing updates as major events unfold during the year. To get started, click here now.