GDP Falls, but the Dow Stays Flat


It's a sluggish day for investors on the Dow Jones Industrial Average , as the blue chips haven't had much to get excited about. Even with an earnings hit in the tech sector, the Dow has shed 22 points as of 2:25 p.m. EST. Still, despite this muted trading day, the index is on pace for its best January in 24 years. Stocks are mostly in the red, but there are few losses to concern your portfolio; only one member of the Dow has even moved more than 1% on the day.

GDP falls, investors shrug
Gross-domestic-product numbers haven't shaken the Dow today. While it was announced that GDP contracted by 0.1% for the fourth quarter of 2012, the figure was weighed down heavily by a 5.7% drop in exports and a massive drop in federal spending. National defense spending, in particular, fell more than 20% for the period, weighing down GDP even as residential fixed investment grew by more than 15%. The economy still managed a 2.2% gain over the course of the full year, however -- and small quarterly blips such as this shouldn't hurt your long-term investing outlook.

IBM and Intel certainly don't have much to worry about today, as their stocks are up 0.2% and 0.6%, respectively, to rank them among the Dow's few gainers. While there's little news from either company, fellow tech company Amazon has bolstered the sector today with its quarterly report. The company's profit margin of more than 24% came in much better than projected and significantly grew year over year, sending shares to a new all-time high during earlier trading action.

Today's top stock isn't a techie, however; it's beaten-up Boeing . The company's shares are up 1.2% today despite the ongoing swirl of speculation regarding problems with the 787 aircraft. The global fleet of 787s remains grounded as the FAA continues to investigate problems with the plane's batteries, but Boeing has expressed its confidence that it will get to the bottom of the issue.

It's not such a rosy day for energy companies, however. Chevron and ExxonMobil rank among the Dow's biggest losers, with shares falling 0.4% and 0.1%, respectively. Despite today's losses, these stocks have managed to reward shareholders heavily to start the new year: Over the past month, shares of Exxon are up more than 6%, while Chevron's stock has eclipsed 8% gains.

Amazon's making the big news today in tech, but how should you approach this surging stock? Everyone knows Amazon is the big bad wolf in the retail world right now, but at its sky-high valuation, most investors are worried the company's share price could get taken down a peg. We'll tell you what's driving the company's growth and fill you in on reasons to buy or sell Amazon in our new premium report. Our report also has you covered with a full year of free analyst updates to keep you informed as the company's story changes, so click here now to read more.

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