Dow Closing in on Another Record


Shares of major U.S. stock indices moved slightly higher today, continuing a move into record territory. At 3:15 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.14% and the S&P 500 has gained 0.22% from yesterday's close. The big economic report of the day came from China, where the General Administration of Customers said exports jumped 14.7% to bring the country back into a trade surplus. Economists, who said cargo data didn't back up such strong export numbers, met the data with skepticism.

Alcoa is up 2.1% on the increased exports from China. The country is still one of the few countries growing GDP, and if its exports are up, that could mean an increase in aluminum demand. Alcoa is cutting capacity as demand and prices fall, so investors are looking for any kernel of good news they can find. Another note is that Alcoa's stock goes ex-dividend tomorrow, which means holders of the stock at the close of the market today will receive the $0.03 dividend.

McDonald's was the big loser on the Dow, falling 1.4% today. The company reported a 0.6% decline in global same-store sales in April as Europe and China offset improvements in the U.S. The Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region posted a 2.9% drop in same-store sales as Avian influenza scared off customer. The good news was a 0.7% increase in U.S. sales, which shows continued steady growth here at home.

Disney was the big earnings report, and despite beating estimates on the top and bottom line, the stock has had a down day. It dropped 2.3% in early trading and has recovered slightly to just a 0.9% loss in late trading. Revenue was up 10% in the first quarter to $10.55 billion, and net income was up to $1.51 billion, or an adjusted $0.79 per share. Earnings beat estimates by two cents, and the company appears to be clicking on all cylinders.

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Fool contributor Travis Hoium has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends McDonald's and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of McDonald's and Walt Disney. 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.

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