3 Stocks That Survived the Dow's Plunge

On days like this, it's surprising to see any winners at all in the stock market. With pessimism about the economic recovery taking root, the upward momentum that stocks have had for months now seems to be coming to an abrupt halt. By the end of the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) found itself facing triple-digit losses, as the index dropped 125 points to finish at 13,075.

But even on a terrible day for the overall market, some stocks managed to hold their own and move higher. Here are three of them.

AT&T (NYSE: T  ) , up 0.5%
AT&T has had a tough year. After losing out on its merger attempt with T-Mobile, the telecom giant is now having labor problems, with possible strikes coming within the next few days.

The company did report a success today, though, as employees of the Southwest region of its wireless division ratified a four-year agreement with their union. But with workers in its Midwest region having voted to authorize a strike if the union can't renew a contract slated to expire this weekend, things are still up in the air for AT&T.

Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) , up 0.5%
Merck is up today, even though the real good news of the day belongs to one of its competitors. Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT  ) announced promising data in trials of its treatments for hepatitis C. Abbott also finished the day up half a percent.

Hepatitis C treatments have gotten a lot of attention lately, and Merck is a big potential player in the space. Although it may seem counterintuitive for Merck to rise on a day when a rival scores a major success, the potential market here is large enough to have more than one winner -- and every positive result reinforces the notion that coming up with viable treatment options is possible.

Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , up 0.3%
Usually, discussions of P&G center on its well-known products. But recently, the company made news for what it's doing to its workforce.

Specifically, the company is blocking its employees' access to Netflix and Pandora, citing bandwidth capacity concerns. Although social media is a key component of P&G's overall marketing strategy, the company found that a quarter of its bandwidth was used for video, music, and photos. The move is an interesting reminder of how workforce productivity remains a key to company success.

Don't lose hope
The Dow will fall sometimes, but as these stocks show, even down days have their winners. Get thinking about the long run by checking out The Motley Fool's latest special report on retirement, which highlights three promising stock picks for retirement investors. Get your free report today before it's gone forever.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Abbott Labs. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Procter & Gamble and Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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