These 3 Dow Stocks Made the Best of a Bad Day

Some days, there are no winners. That was the case for the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) today, with all 30 member stocks losing ground on the day. The stock market plunged following this morning's weak employment report, and other economically sensitive areas fell even further, with the price of oil dropping almost 4% to finish at around $98.50 per barrel -- its lowest close in three months. The Dow ended down 1.3%.

But even on a day with no Dow winners, a few stocks held their ground pretty well. Let's look at three Dow stocks that cut their losses today.

Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , down 0.4%
P&G did exactly what you'd expect a defensive stock to do: provide shelter for risk-averse shareholders. But everything isn't rosy with the consumer-products giant.

The challenge P&G faces is that growth is still important for the company, but macroeconomic headwinds could hurt growth prospects going forward. Between weak housing, still-high gasoline prices, and slowing global growth rates, even demand for popular consumer products is at risk. That's why the company cut its full-year outlook last week, and it could continue to cause problems for P&G.

Travelers (NYSE: TRV  ) , down 0.4%
Weather wrought havoc on Travelers last year. But even with more storms this year, the insurance company seems to be getting through them OK.

Aon released industrywide estimates yesterday of damage from tornadoes in Texas and Kansas during April that amounted to almost $1 billion. But with Allstate (NYSE: ALL  ) having beaten earnings estimates earlier this week and receiving an analyst upgrade today, the property and casualty business seems to be garnering more optimism among investors -- and that spells good news for Travelers if it can catch a break on the loss front in 2012.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) , down 0.5%
No one expected Wal-Mart's bribery scandal in Mexico to go away quickly. One of the largest public pension funds in the country confirmed that fact today.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System sued a number of past and present Wal-Mart executives yesterday, citing a need to determine the facts of the scandal. Today, CalSTRS didn't call explicitly for Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke's resignation, but with the issue "on the table," investors should expect plenty of criticism from CalSTRS and other investors in the coming months.

Take a break
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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Aon. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Aon and Procter & Gamble, as well as creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart. 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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