These Dow Stocks Fell Short Today


The stock market has been nothing if not resilient so far this week. After a huge move upward for stock prices over the past couple of weeks, many skeptics were looking for a significant pullback, but so far, the market just hasn't cooperated. Concerns yesterday about industrial activity in the U.S. as well as the ongoing European situation gave way to positive news on the housing front, and in the end, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) managed to eke out a 12-point gain today.

But not all of the Dow's components were so lucky. Alcoa (NYS: AA) lost 0.9% after an analyst at Jefferies issued comments about the aluminum maker's big jump following last week's QE3 announcement. The analyst pointed out that despite central bank support, Alcoa needs fundamental improvement in the aluminum market to come about before the shares can climb much further. Jefferies believes that Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYS: FCX) represents a better value at these levels.

United Technologies (NYS: UTX) gave up 0.8% even as its Sikorsky helicopter subsidiary won a contract to work on the Army's Black Hawk helicopter platform. The contract is a good reminder that even though defense cuts loom large over the industry's players, important programs will still get funding -- and the winners in those programs will keep seeing revenue flow in.

Finally, DuPont (NYS: DD) also lost 0.8%. A Reuters report noted that this year's drought has given DuPont and other seed-development companies the opportunity to test their drought-resistant strains, and so far, results have been relatively encouraging. Given the much smaller crop sizes coming for corn and other important food commodities this year, the gains from a drought solution could be well worth the added cost and might make for a big profit center for DuPont.

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