A decline in the markets today marked the second straight day of losses before the start of earnings season Tuesday. Uncertain that results would impress, Wall Street sold off American bellwethers of industry in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on a day characterized by low volume. The index ended up falling 55 points, or 0.41%, to close at 13,328.
Hewlett-Packard's stock, which has experienced a bit of a reversal of fortune lately, led the Dow higher with 1.5% gains today. After a 2012 in which HP owned the dubious distinction as the worst performer in the 30-stock index, shares are up 8% in 2013.
Alas, the New Year brings different twists of fate for everyone, and that twist is turning out to be extremely painful for industrial giant Boeing , which ended Tuesday as a major drag on the index for a second straight day, shedding 2.6%. The shares continued their precipitous decline today as United Airlines officials reportedly discovered the faulty wiring responsible for a fire that started on an unoccupied 787 Dreamliner yesterday in Boston. The scheduled return flight out of Massachusetts on a different 787 today experienced a fuel leak and couldn't take off. Yikes.
Setting the pace for corporate America, Alcoa reported earnings after hours, beating revenue expectations and matching profit forecasts. The aluminum producer projected a 7% increase in demand for the metal in 2013, a gradual improvement from the 6% bump seen in 2012.
Disk drive producer Seagate Technology released preliminary results for the second quarter, predicting revenue of $3.6 billion. After falling slightly during normal trading hours, the stock has jumped more than 2% after hours.
While Seagate Technology pays a significant and growing dividend and seems able to generate the cash flow to support it, a global slowdown in demand for digital memory storage has begun to put pressure on margins. But today's positive report could be the sign of continuing success. Is Seagate worthy of your investment consideration (and dollars)? The Motley Fool answers this question and more in our most in-depth Seagate research available for smart investors like you. Thousands have already claimed their own premium ticker coverage, and you can gain instant access to your own by clicking here now.
The article A Tentative Dow Falls Again Ahead of Major Earnings originally appeared on Fool.com.
John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.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.