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When commentators talk about a "melt-up," they're referring to days like today. Not only did positive economic news push the markets higher, but the Federal Reserve also seemed to hold open the possibility of some sort of action to keep the tepid economic recovery moving forward. As a result, stocks soared, with fresh new multi-year highs for the major market benchmarks. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) finished up 218 points to close at 13,178, and the Nasdaq Composite (INDEX: ^IXIC ) broke the 3,000 barrier with a gain of 56 points, to 3,040.
All 30 Dow stocks rose, but not all of them rose a lot. Let's take a look at some of the stocks that pretty much missed the big rally.
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) , up 0.1%
The fast-food giant has been on a roller-coaster ride of its own lately. Shares moved almost straight up for months before a recent drop following its latest monthly sales report.
But new headwinds may be on the horizon. The company is planning to change its dollar menu later this month, creating a higher-priced "value" menu that reflects the higher food costs McDonald's faces. Combined with moves to take share from Dunkin' Brands (Nasdaq: DNKN ) by introducing baked goods in the Northeast and New England, McDonald's is clearly defending its turf against a variety of threats.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) , up 0.3%
As a defensive stock, P&G often lags during big bull-market moves. But oddly enough, the company finds itself at the center of a strange trend.
Apparently, P&G's Tide laundry detergent has become a popular item for shoplifters. According to The Daily, police are establishing special task forces, and retailers are treating Tide like they would other high-risk items by using extra security. There's even a black market for the detergent, according to the report.
Obviously, there's only so much P&G can do to prevent theft once products go outside its chain of control. But negative publicity could hurt the brand nevertheless if the problem persists.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) , up 0.3%
Drugmaker J&J has had a number of high-profile recalls in recent years. But news from over the weekend could add yet another big black mark against the company.
According to the Wall Street Journal, federal prosecutors decided to turn down a tentative deal for a $1 billion settlement related to J&J's antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The settlement would have resolved allegations that the company promoted the drug for uses that weren't approved by the FDA. Although the drug has gone off-patent, it had been a blockbuster. Obviously, J&J can't afford any more negative publicity, yet the rejection takes settlement talks back to the drawing board.
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