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Day after day, the stock market seems to change its mind about everything. Earlier this week, it seemed that investors thought everything was going to turn out well for the global economy. But now, worries about the latest economic data in the U.S. as well as European woes resurfaced, sending stocks for a big loop. Risk assets of all kinds were under pressure, as oil and gold both fell sharply. When all was said and done, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) recovered from its worst levels but still fell 72 points to 13,126. The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) finished down 7 points to 1,406.
Still, a few stocks managed to end higher today. Let's look at three of them.
American Express (NYSE: AXP ) , up 1.4%
From its beginnings, AmEx set out to establish its card as a high-status elite product. Today, the company announced a new campaign that seeks to renew that emphasis.
The "Membership Effect" campaign will play up AmEx's global network of merchants and payment systems, with global scope that facilitates commerce around the world. By linking up with social networks, celebrities, and businesses, AmEx hopes to re-establish itself as a leader in the card industry -- and at least today, shareholders seem to like what they're seeing.
Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) , up 1.5%
B of A shareholders have gotten a nice reward so far in 2012. But after a lousy 2011, did CEO Brian Moynihan really deserve to have his pay quadrupled?
The company's proxy filing today noted that Moynihan earned $8.1 million in 2011, up from just $1.9 million in 2010. Most of that figure comes from stock grants that require the company to reach performance milestones. Yet the true test for Moynihan and B of A lies ahead, as the bank tries to figure out the right strategy after having divested itself of significant amounts of its noncore business assets.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) , up 1.1%
Emerging markets are essential to Coke's long-term prospects. Sometimes, what's happening in faraway parts of the world can have an impact on sales.
Reports from Chile that stricter drunk-driving laws would lead to more soft-drink consumption have sent shares of the local Coke bottling company to a huge monthly gain in March. Combined with hot temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere's late-summer months, the environment has been positive for Coke there. Obviously, Chile is just one piece of Coke's international puzzle, but if what's happening there is any indication of wider trends among emerging markets, then the drink giant may get additional growth internationally.
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