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You can tell that the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) have had a bad day when you can't even find three stocks that managed to rise. Even though the average's 138-point drop today represents only slightly more than a 1% drop, only a single stock out of the Dow 30 gained ground.
Plenty of stocks have a lot at stake from the recent signs of weakness in the global economy. But some stocks manage to show their long-term stability even on the market's darkest days. Let's take a closer look at today's best performers from the Dow.
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) was the sole gainer in the Dow today, and it wasn't just a token advance of a couple of pennies. Rather, the stock rose more than 1% as the company appears to be perfectly positioned to benefit from an economic downturn. One area of recent success has been a program that allows customers to make online orders without paying immediately, instead visiting a local store within 48 hours to pay for their order. As a Forbes blog post noted earlier today, the program has not only resulted in having more people shopping online but also has produced bigger orders.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) managed to limit its losses to 0.2% today, fulfilling its traditional role as a defensively positioned stock in a down market. With the Supreme Court decision on health-care reform laws expected later this week, J&J is in the middle of a highly uncertain sector right now, especially as Pfizer (NYSE: PFE ) suffered a big defeat today with the FDA delaying a decision on its Eliquis blood thinner. But Fool analysts David Meier and John Reeves believe the stock can come back from the troubles it has suffered after numerous product recalls.
Finally, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) fell by around a quarter-percent. One challenge that Coke faces going forward is that if emerging-market economies start to slow down, one of the company's key growth drivers will see bigger headwinds. Yet the stock's huge brand presence could give it a big long-term advantage in helping it defend against future inflation down the road -- and as remote a possibility as that may seem now, it's still something to worry about long-term.
These stocks do their jobs
As scary as the prospect of further declines may be, you should get ready to look for stocks that will provide you with profits over a lot longer than just a single week. The Fool's latest special report can get you moving in the right direction as it points the way to the three Dow stocks dividend investors need. The report is absolutely free, so get your copy today.