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Once again, the stock market seems to be in a wait-and-see mode. After counting on the Federal Reserve for some help last week, investors have now turned to the European Central Bank to see if it will take some drastic measures to shore up the weaker economies in the eurozone. With possibilities ranging from sovereign bond-buying to creating a continent-wide eurobond market, many seem convinced that something more than what central banks have come up with until now is warranted. The attendant uncertainty helped hold back the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) , which managed to eke out a 12-point gain even as the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) and several other broad-market measures fell slightly.
The biggest Dow gainer was Disney (NYSE: DIS ) , which finished up more than 2%. As Fool analyst John del Vecchio observed last week, Disney is just one of several consumer discretionary stocks in the Dow to post some amazing results recently. Yet Disney stands out once more because of its opportunistic buyout of Marvel Entertainment a few years ago, with success after success proving the long-range vision of the acquisition.
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) also picked up more than 1.5% on the day even as analysts at Jefferies argue that sales of PCs will be weak at least through 2014. The move up seems to indicate hope that HP's attempts to shift strategy, while potentially painful in the short run, are a necessary step toward ensuring the continued survival of the company.
Finally, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) rose about 1.5% after an interesting report from UBS. By looking at liftoffs and touchdowns at the airport that's right next to Boeing's Dreamliner production facilities, the analysts concluded that Boeing may be able to ramp up production more quickly than previously thought. For investors who've long worried about Boeing's ability to deliver on time, that's a positive sign.
Don't count the Dow out
Even if the Dow couldn't post a big gain today, the top stocks will keep supporting you every step of the way. Find out more about the Dow's best prospects in the Fool's special report on the Dow. It's free, so please accept this invitation and get your complimentary copy today.