Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), Alcoa Inc (AA), Chevron Corporation (CVX): Dow (.DJI)’s Fortune Cookie Says, “You Should Have Sold Yesterday”

Stocks and commodities were getting crushed today after China reported a worse-than-expected first-quarter GDP. Economists had projected growth at 8%, but the world’s second-biggest economy delivered an increase of just 7.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down 1.8% as all 30 components fell. Today was its worst performance of the year, but it still beat out essentially every other major market indicator. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were off 2.3% and 2.4%, respectively, while oil prices were down 2% and gold futures dropped a whopping 9% to a two-year low. Commodities were down across the board as China is seen as the world’s primary buyer for metals, energy, and similar goods.

Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)

Adding further to market jitters was a report from the National Association of Home Builders showing that its housing market index fell unexpectedly. The rating dropped from 44 to 42, while economists had expected an increase to 45. The housing sector has been one of the more bullish areas of the economy of late so any pullback is likely to leave investors thinking twice about the overall recovery. A New York State manufacturing index also showed weaker results than expected for April.

Not surprisingly, commodities makers and related stocks were the worst performers among the blue chips. Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) fell the most, dropping 3.2%. The earthmoving-equipment company is highly dependent on demand in China, and slowing growth will weigh on the stock. Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) was down 2.2% for a similar reason as it needs a strong construction market and demand for aluminum in China to boost prices for the metal. Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) already reported earnings to a tepid response from the market last week, while Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) will report next Monday. Analysts expect EPS of $1.44 on revenue of $13.81. Both figures are significantly down from a year ago.

Oil giants Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) were also down sharply, each falling 2.8% on lower oil prices. Oil prices are sensitive to overall economic activity and cooler growth in China will ease demand. Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) are rarely big movers in the Dow, but with oil prices now under $90 a barrel, the energy producers could see a recovery in the commodity soon.

Today is tax day, of course, but the good news for investors is that the dissemination of refunds could help spur consumer spending in the coming months despite whatever woes come from China or elsewhere. Investors will also be anxious to see the fallout from the explosions in Boston this afternoon, which could renew concerns about terrorism and stir a potential market panic.

The article Dow’s Fortune Cookie Says, “You Should Have Sold Yesterday” originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Loading Comments...