After falling 265 points and setting the record for the biggest one-day decline in 2013 yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has turned things around today, up 126 points, or 0.86%, as of 12:45 p.m. EDT. The other major indexes have also made an about-face: The S&P 500 has gained 1.08% after losing 2.3% yesterday, while the NASDAQ rebounded from yesterday's 2.38% drop to gain 1.19% today.
A few favorable economic data points and one great earnings report from Coke are likely behind the more positive sentiment among market participants today. Every one of the 30 Dow stocks is in the green today, although some are struggling to keep up with the broader market.
Shares of Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) are up a meager 0.1% after the company's closest competitor, Target (NYSE:TGT), warned investors today that is first-quarter profit and sales would be lower than previously forecast. Target cited disappointing sales in its seasonal and weather-sensitive categories as the reason for the earnings miss. Today investors are assuming that Target's downbeat guidance bodes ill for Wal-Mart, which reports earnings on May 16.
Meanwhile, Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) are the only two Dow components that are trading lower for the year. Year to date, Alcoa is down 6.3%, while Caterpillar has lost 8%, and the Dow itself is up 12.3%. Therefore Caterpillar shareholders are losing to the market by 20% over just the past three and a half months, while Alcoa investors are down more than 18% during the same time frame.
After yesterday's GDP report from China, which indicated that the second-largest economy's growth is slowing, both Cat and Alcoa will likely have a rough remainder of the year unless China's economy turns the corner quickly.
Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513. 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.