Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI), Alcoa Inc (AA): Poor GDP Number Could Mean More Days of Free Money

The big news on Wall Street today is that the Department of Commerce’s final reading of first-quarter GDP was released, and it was revised downward from 2.4% to 1.8%, the markets are moving higher. As of 12:45 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is up 107 points, or 0.73%, while the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) and the NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) have risen by 0.75% and 0.76%, respectively. Every component of the GDP report was lowered from the previous estimate except housing and government spending, which is not a good sign.

Dow Jones Industrial Average 2 Minute (INDEXDJX:^DJI)

But I believe the markets may be celebrating this because investors see the lower-than-expected GDP number as a reason for the Federal Reserve to continue stimulating the economy for longer than they had previously expected. Ben Bernanke made it clear last week that he would begin slowing the central bank’s bond-buying program if the economy kept moving down its current path. However, today’s report clearly shows that the U.S. economy is not as strong as we had previously been told, so the free-money policies may last longer than even the Fed’s chairman told us it would.

While the broader market is partying, let’s look at a few stocks on America’s premier blue-chip index whose invitations got lost in the mail.

A few Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) losers
Shares of Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) rank at the bottom of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) today, down 1.8%. Fool contributor Caroline Bennett recently pointed out three reasons to stay away from the aluminum giant despite its market-leading status. With that said, China’s government has recently cracked down on easy money and credit, which have caused bubbles in the country. Reports also indicate that the new government will address the oversupply of steel and other metals in the country by shutting down some of the mills that have sprouted up like weeds all over the nation. If the Chinese government slows its own country’s production rates, that should help Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) as the price of aluminum stabilizes.

Other commodity-driven Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) stocks are also declining today. Shares of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) have fallen 0.3% as the prices of gold, silver, copper, and platinum drop. The company needs metals prices to perform well so that emerging markets, which are big commodity-producers, will continue to buy earth-moving equipment and machinery.

Both Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) are down slightly today, having lost 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively.

As with Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA), the price of the oil supermajors’ main commodity is slipping today. Light crude is down slightly, while unleaded gas has fallen 1%. Heating oil has even declined by nearly 1%, while the only major fuel source that has risen today is natural gas, up 0.66%. The lower-than-expected U.S. GDP number and the fear that China is slowing down are likely weighing on both the price of oil and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI)’s two major oil companies.

The article Poor GDP Number Could Mean More Days of Free Money originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Matt Thalman.

Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow’s winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron.

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

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