Why the Dow's Leading the Way This Morning

After last week's lousy run, early on today it looked like the stock market would put in an across-the-board jump, as strong retail sales figures for March pushed stocks higher right out of the gate. But a decline in homebuilder confidence combined with more concerns about Spanish bond yields and a big drop in shares of Apple pulled the broader market lower. At around 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) were still up 67 points to 12,916, but the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) was flat and the Nasdaq Composite was down, largely due to Apple's influence.

Following Apple's trend, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) dropped more than 1%, holding back the Dow's advance. As Fool analysts Charly Travers and Jason Moser observed this morning, the networking company has bounced back strongly from its 2011 woes, but investors haven't bid the stock price up very far as they apparently refuse to recognize Cisco's growth potential.

ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) rose nearly 1%. Reports over the weekend suggested that Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson would travel to Russia to enter into a partnership with Russian state oil company Rosneft. The deal would involve granting Rosneft access to projects in the U.S. and Canada while giving Exxon a firmer hold on Russian offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean and Black Sea.

Finally, Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) was down about 0.4% after announcing that it would enlist the help of a Chinese partner, DMG Entertainment, to produce and film the next installment of its Iron Man series in China. The move should help Disney expand its brand presence in the emerging nation, where huge populations represent a major growth opportunity for the entertainment company.

Riding the waves
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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 Apple, Walt Disney, and Cisco Systems. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney, ExxonMobil, and Apple, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple. 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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