These Stocks Are Saving the Dow

Those who sold in May and went away have to be happy with themselves, at least given how things have turned out so far. With the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) down almost 5% for the month as of yesterday and falling again today, the average is poised for its worst performance since last September.

But even with the Dow down and out, a few stocks have done their best to hold up the ailing average. Here's a quick look at the Dow's four gainers so far this month.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) is the big gainer for May thus far, rising more than 12%. At first glance, you might think that investors should be shunning Wal-Mart, given the bad publicity concerning bribery investigations in Mexico. But instead of blowing those reports out of proportion, investors have instead focused on improving results as the retailer finally tries to turn things around after a dismal period of stagnant sales and overall weakness.

Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) is also on the upswing, with more than a 5% gain. Although the flop John Carter left a bad taste in investors' mouths, the success of The Avengers debut bodes well for the company's fortunes going forward. Given that Avengers is likely to become a huge franchise that could last for years, its success warrants a strong move for the shares.

Finally, the telecom space produced the Dow's final two winners, AT&T (NYSE: T  ) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) , both with monthly gains of about 3%. The companies are firmly ensconced within one of the strongest industries in the economy right now, as smartphone growth climbs ever higher. Moreover, with the companies seeking to take steps to reduce subsidies that have squeezed their margins, both Verizon and AT&T could benefit greatly from increased profits if they're successful.

Keep the faith
No matter what happens to the overall market, you can always find some stocks that will perform well. For instance, if you want to see which stock The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has picked as his top stock for 2012, all you need to do is grab your free copy of the Fool's special report that reveals its name. You can get access to the report and find out the name of this legendary company -- but don't wait; do it right now.

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 Walt Disney. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney and creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart. 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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