Why the Dow's Riding Higher This Morning


Hope springs eternal on Wall Street, and today's stock market move reflects enthusiasm that perhaps the future isn't as dark as many have feared lately. Good news within the U.S. on durable goods orders and pending home sales took attention away from Europe, where few people expect to see any innovative solution to the long-standing financial crisis. But if the U.S. economy can remain resilient even in the face of European weakness, that bodes well for stocks domestically. That's a big part of why the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) were up about 80 points by 10:45 a.m. EDT.

It's therefore somewhat surprising to see Home Depot (NYS: HD) failing to rise, especially in light of the fact that it's tied both to durable goods and the housing market. But with the home improvement retailer's stock already having nearly doubled in less than a year, investors need to realize that the stock price already reflects a lot of potential good news. Anything less than positive results could send shares tumbling.

Alcoa (NYS: AA) also failed to join in the rally, falling nearly 1%. The company has had a tough week, with shares plunging on Monday after a Stifel Nicolaus analyst cut estimates on aluminum prices. Then yesterday, a Deutsche Bank analyst joined suit, reducing earnings estimates and arguing that falling output combined with lower prices will inevitably hit the company's income. Until those trends reverse, Alcoa will continue to struggle.

Finally, General Electric (NYS: GE) rose more than 1%, in part because of the favorable durable goods numbers. GE is still a major appliance manufacturer, although many have focused more on the company's continuing minority stake in NBC Universal. With the Olympics coming up, GE and NBC Universal majority-owner Comcast (NAS: CMCSA) are hoping that their quadrennial financial gamble on the games will bear fruit this year. Rebranding efforts for the NBC Sports Network may help, but past years have proven disappointing for Olympic TV broadcast results.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Home Depot. 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 Fool has a disclosure policy.

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