These Stocks Defied the Dow's Decline

Investors have a case of the blues today. Facebook (Nasdaq: FB  ) disappointed investors with an IPO that took investors on a roller-coaster ride but essentially left them exactly where they started. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) dropped for the sixth straight day and the 12th session of the past 13. But even as Europe continues to leave the world economy at an impasse and fears of a slowing recovery in the U.S. seem to build, a few Dow stocks managed to climb higher and reward shareholders with a longer-term view.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) climbed more than 1% today, following through on big gains yesterday after the company announced positive results for its most recent quarter. But another reason the retail giant may be getting investor attention may be its resilience during bad times. During 2008, Wal-Mart performed very well, avoiding the huge losses in the broader stock market. With its fingers on the pulse of price-conscious shoppers, Wal-Mart is a logical defensive choice that's been proven in past crises.

AT&T (NYSE: T  ) also rose by 1%. The wireless carrier expects to take several measures to try to improve margins, including providing shared data plans between tablets and smartphones as well as cutting subsidies on smartphone purchases. The company plans to put a lid on sales growth to minimize the costs that come with upgrades.

Finally, Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) was up 0.9%. A new facility in Mississippi will add only about 35 jobs to a struggling area of the country, but it's just the latest example of how the company is more focused on the U.S. market than many of its peers. At the same time, though, Caterpillar hopes that recently lifted trade sanctions in Myanmar will give the construction-equipment company another foothold in the fast-growing Asian region.

What will next week bring?
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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended 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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  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2012, at 12:06 PM, lbtoolman wrote:

    Clearwire was up 11%. They have 160 megahertz of spectrum. In the last 30 days the share price was cut in half in a bear raid. Book value is 2.06 yet it is only 1.18 per share from 2.43. Sprint is dependant on CLWR for the future of its LTE and CLWR intends to wholesale LTE service to those who lack spectrum. This stock has a bigger upside potential than any of the companies mentioned. They have 1.4 Billion in cash and their build out cost for the first 31 major cities is 800 million. You may have seen Netzero or Clear commercials lately. These are on Clearwires network.

    The new company FreedomPop uses Clearwires network. FreedomPop will allow iPhone 3 and 4,4s to get 4G speeds with just the attachment of a sleeve and a cost of only $99.

    The media doesn’t give any credit to Clearwire because they are all focused on VZ and T.

    Clearwires new LTE will have speeds faster than VZ and its unlimited due to the massive spectrum holdings. Sprint owns about half of Clearwire and in a news release Thursday, Hesse Sprint CEO said they would not be doing any merges but might do a takeover. CLWR is the only target for Sprint to takeover given Sprints capital position. So Clearwire could be a takeover target and the media has failed to point this out.

    Take a look at a real upside data play.

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