The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) on Wednesday had regained much of the ground that it lost yesterday, rising 62 points as of 11 a.m. EDT. News on the economic front was gloomy this morning, as the final revision of first-quarter U.S. gross domestic product weighed in with a 2.9% drop, much larger than expected and its worst performance since the 2008-09 recession. Moreover, durable goods orders fell by 1% in May, raising further concerns about the economic recovery. Disney (NYSE:DIS) was among the best performers in the Dow, while Boeing (NYSE:BA) lagged.
Disney's 1% gain came on the heels of a favorable decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld a lower-court decision in finding that online video service Aereo violated copyright laws by offering subscribers services to help them access over-the-air broadcasts. The four major network broadcasters, including Disney's ABC, all argued that they had exclusive rights to their programming, and that the fact that they still send signals that antenna-based sets can pick up at no cost didn't give Aereo the right to charge subscribers to access that programming for its own gain. The move could force more users away from free broadcasts and toward cable television, which should boost Disney's overall income from the fees that it collects for its channels.
Boeing, on the other hand, fell more than 1%. Durable goods orders last month fell entirely because of a huge drop in military-equipment orders, and Boeing still has a substantial presence in the defense sector. But Boeing faces a bigger threat to its commercial operations, as the U.S. government is considering closing its Export-Import Bank, which has helped many foreign countries pbtain financing that they have used to purchase billions of dollars in Boeing aircraft. Some airlines have lobbied against the Export-Import Bank, arguing that it unfairly benefits competitors to the detriment of U.S. consumers. With the authorization that allows the bank to function set to expire at the end of September, the hot-button political issue could have a big impact on future sales depending on whether the institution continues to exist.
For the Dow Jones Industrials, today's GDP report doesn't say anything that investors didn't already know. The key for the future is whether the poor showing was solely due to one-time factors such as weather. If second-quarter GDP doesn't pick up dramatically, then worries about the U.S. economy's recovery will be much more justified.