Why the Dow's Flat This Morning

The stock market didn't move much this morning, as investors appear to be in wait-and-see mode for the latest news on the Greek sovereign debt crisis. Around 10:45 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) were down 19 points to 12,859, while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) was nearly unchanged at 1,347. With the Dow currently at a three-and-a-half year high, it's not unreasonable for the average to take a pause.

But a few stocks made some significant moves. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) soared 2.5% to climb above the $8-per-share mark. Fairholme Capital Management's Bruce Berkowitz, whose funds are major shareholders in the bank, was quoted as saying that "it doesn't get any better when it comes to value investing."

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) fell slightly despite posting January sales figures that were better than expected. The burger giant saw global same-store sales grow 6.7%, but while U.S. and Asia/Pacific growth were strong, Europe's 4% gain fell short of what analysts had hoped to see.

Finally, Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) was down about 0.6% in mid-morning trading. The company yesterday said that its experimental anti-clotting drug vorapaxar showed promising results in reducing the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and death from heart disease. But the study confirmed results from last year that the drug also increases internal bleeding that in some cases can actually cause strokes or other brain problems. That could greatly decrease the target customer base for the drug.

Stocks may rise, fall, or hover over the short run, but great stocks eventually head upward steadily. For some promising stock prospects, let me invite you to read The Motley Fool's latest special report and discover three stocks with potential for huge gains over the long haul. It's free, but don't wait -- click here and read it today.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of McDonald's. 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 Fool has a disclosure policy.


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