Following the daily movements of the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) shows you just how mercurial the stock market can be. On down days, investors focus on all the troubles in the world, including slowing growth in Asia, financial trouble in Europe, and U.S. budget uncertainties. Yet even though those problems don't really go away on up days, investors seem to forget all about them and look instead for signs of future improvement. Today, the bulls won, and the Dow rose 92 points as a result.
Leading the way were financial stocks, with JPMorgan Chase up 3% and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) rising 2%. JPMorgan gave us the interesting news that it has started to offer merchants machines that will let them accept mobile payments from smartphones as well as cards with embedded computer chips, as it jockeys for position in the highly competitive electronic-payment field. Meanwhile, both banks will soon have to submit plans for how they would get wound down in the event of a future financial catastrophe, with a deadline of Monday for so-called "living will" submissions to regulators.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) gained 1.7% despite earning more attention for its attempted smackdown of homemade soda-machine maker SodaStream (Nasdaq: SODA ) . Ever since filing a cease-and-desist letter against SodaStream, Coke has been the object of a fierce SodaStream response that has only served as a publicity boost for the tiny company. Coke has too strong a brand to be particularly vulnerable here, but the move was a definite misstep for the beverage giant.
Finally, DuPont (NYSE: DD ) rose 1.6%, more than recouping its losses from yesterday. Fellow seedmaker Monsanto reported better earnings in its fiscal third quarter than analysts had expected, sending its stock up almost 4% and boosting DuPont higher in sympathy. As long as trends in the agricultural space are positive, they'll help bolster DuPont's overall results.
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