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With the seventh anniversary of the devastating Hurricane Katrina looming this week, the emergence of Tropical Storm Isaac and its anticipated track toward New Orleans is far from welcome news. On a day during which little news seems to move the markets, worries about the damage that another storm could do to the central Gulf Coast took paramount importance, and after rallying back to breakeven around midday, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) gave up ground and finished down 33 points.
But a few stocks still bucked the downtrend. Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO ) was the biggest gainer on the day, rising 0.8%. The company announced that it will expand its partnership with VMware (NYSE: VMW ) to build integrated cloud-computing solutions. In particular, the expansion targets software-defined data centers and will include joint engineering teams focused on building new cloud-related tools collaboratively. If the partnership works, it could help address some of Cisco's long-standing concerns.
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) rose 0.7%. As Fool analyst Dan Dzombak discussed earlier today, McDonald's expansion into Siberia probably isn't what's behind the up-move. More likely, traders are looking at recent short-term dollar weakness as potentially bullish for the stock, but for long-term investors, the tiny move is inconsequential in the bigger picture. Continued growth is what investors need to see to justify an increasingly rich valuation.
Finally, United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) rose 0.6%. The stock may have responded to reports over the weekend that said that the U.S. would give Indonesia older-model F-16s and sell the nation weapons and related aircraft gear as a way of maintaining a presence to stand up to China in the region. Although the sale is relatively small at $25 million, Indonesia expects to pay as much as $750 million to upgrade the fighter planes, for which United Tech provides engines.
Beat the blues
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