By the Numbers

Commodity Stocks Up with the Dollar?

The U.S. Dollar Index is up for the 8th straight day, rising more than 3 percent during that time. The index’s current winning streak is its longest since the 11 consecutive days of gains back in August 2008.

Since hitting a 15-month low back in November, the index, which tracks a basket of foreign currencies vs. the dollar, is up over 5 percent in just a little less than a month.  Despite the dollar’s strength today, commodity stocks are not being deterred, leading the advance in the stock markets throughout the day.

One commodity standout is Alcoa , whose stock is getting a nice boost following a Morgan Stanley upgrade and an announcement of a joint venture in Saudi Arabia.  The aluminum giant revealed it had signed on to an $11 billion project with Saudi Arabian Mining Co, which could raise its aluminum capacity by 15 percent – a welcomed boost after experiencing a double whammy of weak demand and a plunge in aluminum prices over the past 1.5 years.

Additionally, Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the Dow component, upping it to "overweight" from equal weight on optimism over improving aluminum prices in 2010.

As a result, Alcoa is up over 9 percent today for its best 1-day advance since April 9. More impressive, it’s having its best month in ten years (since April 1999). With its current gain of over 27%, the aluminum producer is easily the Dow’s best performer so far this month:

Top Dow Components This Month:

  • Alcoa +27.2%
  • Disney +7.3%
  • Hewlett-Packard +6.5%
  • Home Depot +6.1%
  • 3M +5.4%

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