Alcoa's wild ride

Earnings season unofficially begins Tuesday. And, the stock kicking it off is one that was kicked out of the Dow just a few months ago.

But, curiously enough for Alcoa, leaving the index turned out to be a good thing for shareholders.

Since Alcoa's removal from the Dow, its stock has soared past the marquis index, beating it 51 percent to 5 percent. And Alcoa is not alone. In fact, shares of Hewlett-Packard and Bank of America, which were both chucked out of the Dow along with Alcoa at the end of September, have also beaten the index.

Company Ticker

Returns since 09/20/2013

Alcoa AA 51%
Hewlett-Packard HPQ 52%
Bank of America BAC 14%
Dow Jones Industrial Average ^DJI 5%

So will earnings fuel more gains?

"We are seeing some positive signs in the economy," said Chantico Global's Gina Sanchez, a CNBC contributor. "I think it is an indicator of sort of general demand and manufacturing."

Sanchez credits Alcoa's recent run with increase demand in aluminum from several industries, particularly from the now-hot airlines.

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The charts are constructive, too, at least on a short-term basis.

"We've seen this renaissance in basic-resource stocks like Alcoa," said Richard Ross, global technical strategist at Auerbach Grayson. "We've seen a broader resurgence in emerging markets which are largely driven by basic resources and materials. [But], I don't think that it's the macro proxy that it once was. We used to look to Alcoa as demand, a good tell for strength in China, but not so much anymore."

Still, according to Ross, the stock's one-year chart shows some positive signs. It has stayed above its 50-day moving average since early October and broke through a resistance at roughly the $12.20 per share level.

"But, when we look longer term, we start to see a stock that's a shell of its former self," said Ross.
Though Alcoa broke above its technically significant 200-week moving average, Ross is not convinced the stock has much going for it.

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"This is a stock that really stands in the way of itself," said Ross. "Every time that you think it's making some headway, we pull the rug out from underneath you. So, let's not read too much into Alcoa. Let's not get too crazy about the resurgence in basic resources. I think this is just part of that great rotation out of the high fliers and into the low fliers."

To see the full discussion on Alcoa, with Sanchez on the fundamentals and Ross on the technicals, watch the video above.

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