After hitting new highs almost every day last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up slightly to another all-time high today after China reported mixed economic news over the weekend. As of 1:15 p.m. EDT the Dow is up 38 points, or 0.26%, to 14,435. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) is up 0.21% to 1,554.
There were no U.S. economic releases today. On Saturday, China reported that year-over-year inflation in February rose to 3.2%. At the same time, the government reported that industrial-production growth had slowed to 9.9%, while retail sales growth slowed to 12%. China's economic numbers are always suspect, so take these with a grain of salt.
Rising inflation with slowing growth will be of concern for the Chinese government and could lead to monetary tightening later in the year if the trend continues. These concerns had some economists lowering their growth expectations for China from 7.5% to 7%. China is such a large part of the world economy that investors should be aware of what is going on in the country. Slowdowns in China can have ramifications around the world, particularly in the commodity markets.
The Dow finished last week at 14,397, just below the all-time intraday high of 14,413 it hit earlier on Friday. Today it looks set to best both those records.
Today's Dow leader
Today's Dow leader is Boeing (NYSE:BA) up 1.6% after Randy Tinseth, marketing vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said at a conference that Boeing has found a permanent fix for the battery problems that have grounded the 787 Dreamliner since January.
Regulators in both Japan and the U.S. have so far been wary of Boeing's plans to fix the Dreamliner. Reuters quoted Tinseth as saying, "It is a solution that we believe provides three levels of protection for the airplane, and it's a solution that we're confident will ensure safe and reliable service for the 787 in the future." While the Dreamliner is experiencing some well-publicized problems, these are being overblown by the press and will just be a blip in the 30- to 50-year future of the Dreamliner.