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Why the Dow's the Best This Morning

As investors celebrated the beginning of the fourth year of the current bull market advance from 2009's lows, the broad stock market decided to take a bit of a breather. Yet, even though most broad market measures were slightly lower, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) bucked the trend. Around 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow was up 12 points to 12,934, even as the S&P 500 fell two points to 1,368.

Financial stocks were lower, with JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) and American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) putting in the worst performance among Dow stocks this morning. Given the big advances that both stocks have seen so far in 2012, it's hard to take today's move as a serious warning sign of future trouble. JPMorgan is working with some of its competitors to share costs on compliance and other back-office systems. Meanwhile, AmEx continues its drive toward becoming a major player in the mobile-payments space.

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) fell almost 1% as the equipment maker continued its recent slide on concerns about slower growth in China. Yet, the company is using the Chinese market for another purpose: raising capital. Caterpillar is reportedly making its third offering of bonds denominated in Chinese yuan. Increasingly, these dim sum bonds have become a popular way for companies to tap into Chinese capital sources.

Finally, Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) rose on news of an analyst upgrade from Janney Capital, with the analyst firm seeing upside potential of around 15% from current levels. Given the huge demand for content that various streaming platforms have generated, Disney should be in the catbird seat to name its price -- or start thinking about its own content-delivery platform.

Keeping you on your toes
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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 JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney and writing a covered strangle position in American Express. 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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