Even in a bull market, stocks can't rise every day. Between ongoing doubts about whether Europe's latest bailout will solve long-term fundamental problems, economic data, and earnings reports, the stock market didn't go much of anywhere today. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) finished the day down 27 points to 12,939.
But several stocks within the Dow treated their shareholders to some gains. Let's take a closer look at a few of them.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) , up 0.6%
Among brand-conscious companies, Coke stands supreme. With the most valuable brand in the world according to Interbrand, Coca-Cola has already spent billions building its reputation.
That's why today's news that Coke would not respond to PepsiCo's (NYSE: PEP ) big ramp-up in advertising and marketing spending comes as somewhat of a surprise. While it's hard to argue with Coke CFO Gary Fayard's comments that its current plan has been effective, Pepsi's additional $500 million to $600 million in spending will undoubtedly make a difference. And even if you think the Coke/Pepsi battle lines have already been carved in stone, other segments, such as juice, water, and sports drinks, still have a lot at stake. Keep your eye on Coke to make sure it keeps pace with its rival.
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) , up 0.7%
Sometimes, it's good not to be in the news. With Johnson & Johnson's Bill Weldon announcing his coming departure from his CEO position, all the attention is going to J&J's ongoing debacle of product recalls and other challenges.
Pfizer, of course, has plenty of obstacles of its own to overcome. But even as sales of Lipitor come under pressure from generic competition, you can expect Pfizer to keep pushing for new pipeline drugs -- and eventually, it should find new blockbusters.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) , up 0.4%
Boeing has had a mix of good and bad news recently. Today, it said that flaws in the fuselage of its 787 Dreamliner could affect 55 aircraft. But on the defense side of its business, the aircraft maker said that it had delivered more than 250 Super Hornet strike fighters and Growler electronic attack aircraft to the Navy ahead of schedule and on budget.
With billions at stake, Boeing needs to get its production issues under control. After years of delays, victory is within the company's reach -- all it needs to do is grab it.
What will Thursday bring?
These stocks managed to rise modestly today, but who knows what will happen tomorrow? If you invest for the long haul, don't get hung up in all the day-to-day meanderings of the market. Instead, read the Motley Fool's latest special report and learn the names of three stocks that you can ride to riches. The report is free -- but don't wait: Read it today.