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How you look at the stock market depends on your perspective. From an optimistic point of view, today's release of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book pointed to a stronger retail sector as a potential source of broader gains in economic activity. Combine that with an upward revision in second-quarter GDP and reasonable growth in pending home sales, and it's fairly easy to make the glass-half-full case. The market, though, wasn't completely convinced, with the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) rising just four points on the day.
Still, some Dow stocks performed quite well. Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) climbed more than 1% after announcing yesterday that it had successfully swapped wireless spectrum with Leap Wireless (Nasdaq: LEAP ) . With spectrum becoming the new currency among wireless players, Verizon has been at the center of spectrum-trading lately, with the FCC having approved its much larger deal with a host of cable companies to acquire even more spectrum.
Disney (NYSE: DIS ) rose almost 1%, as its ESPN affiliate said last night that it had closed on a $5.6 billion agreement with Major League Baseball to extend its media-rights deal for eight years. Disney will pay almost double its previous price, but it expects to get rights to show more games, including a wild-card playoff game. The deal lengthens Disney's arrangement through 2021.
Finally, Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) rose 0.6%. Favorable housing-market news is always a plus for Home Depot, but the company has also benefited from strong operational performance. As Fool contributor John del Vecchio pointed out earlier today, much of Home Depot's run to multiyear highs has come from a reduction in outstanding float, with major repurchases reducing the number of shares and therefore boosting earnings per share. With its shares fully valued, del Vecchio thinks it's a good time to cut down on the stock if you own it.
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