The market didn't see much net change in the first day of trading after Mother's Day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) slipping less than 0.2%, or 26 points, to close at 15,091 Monday. And why should it have swung wildly, anyway? When the most bullish news of the day takes the form of a 0.1% advance in U.S. retail sales, a general lack of enthusiasm is understandable. Despite that backdrop, several Dow stocks swung decidedly in one direction or another.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), for one, swung favorably, adding 2.3% today. There wasn't any major news story or company tidbit that rallied shares of the $200 billion pharmaceutical giant, but it didn't hurt that the health-care sector rallied more than any other. With Pfizer losing more than 4% in the past month, today's uptick shows that some investors think Wall Street was simply too harsh on the company after its most recent earnings miss.
But remember: Blue chips as a whole failed to even tread water today, and DuPont (NYSE:DD) was one of the decliners, slipping 1%. To some extent -- and like Pfizer -- DuPont merely moves with the sector in which it operates, which is unfortunately the materials sector. I say "unfortunately" because that sector was the worst performer of the day and has the second-worst showing over the past year -- next to technology.
Which brings us to Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), down 1.7% Monday. Even though several investment banks slapped bullish price targets on the stock within the past week, another, less optimistic outlook hit shares today. Bernstein Research believes tough times lie ahead as Intel attempts to swiftly move into the rapidly evolving mobile market. I don't know that I disagree on that one.
Last and in a way the least, Alcoa (NYSE:AA) shed 2% to end as the worst-performing Dow stock. Its sluggish performance was due more to macroeconomic factors entirely out of its control than anything else. The most recent production numbers from China came in lower than expected today, and a slowdown in industry in the largest economy in Asia may spell lower demand for materials like the aluminum Alcoa traffics in.