Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down for the fourth time this week, but one stock is defying the drop. Alcoa's (NYSE:AA) stock is up for the second day in a row after more positive Chinese economic data. As of 1:15 p.m. EDT, the Dow was down 114 points to 15,413. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was down 5 points to 1,692.
This week, there were few economic releases, and the only big news was when Federal Reserve Bank governors talked to the media about the possible tapering of its asset purchases program later this year. You can read more about what the Fed has been saying here.
Today's Dow leader
Alcoa is up for the second day in a row after the Chinese reported better-than-expected industrial production data for July. The stock is up 1.9% to $8.06. Chinese industrial production was up 9.7% versus the year ago. That's better than last month's 8.9% rise and better than analyst expectations of a 9% rise.
Alcoa was also one of yesterday's top Dow stocks after the release of Chinese trade data. The Chinese Customs Administration reported that exports rose 5.1% in July from a year ago and imports rose 10.9%. That was better than analyst expectations of a 3% rise for exports and a 2% rise for imports. The massive difference between imports expectations and actual was driven by increased demand for copper. While this is surprising to say the least, it may not signal a resurging economy but may have been caused by the credit crunch that we saw earlier in the summer. For this reason -- and because Chinese trade data is known to have been manipulated in the past -- take this economic release with a grain of salt. China's GDP growth has been slowing as the country tries to switch from an investment led economy to a consumer economy, and it'll likely continue to slow.
Fool contributor Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.