Sometimes, things work out better than you expect. Before the market opened, it looked like stocks would head lower on continuing concerns about economic growth both in the U.S. and around the world. But with data on productivity indicating that inflation continues to be of minimal concern and that workers are continuing to make more from less, stocks got out of the doldrums and moved higher. Just after 10:45 a.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) were up about 27 points, although the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite made more modest gains.
Topping the Dow's gainers was Disney (NYSE: DIS ) , which jumped more than 2.5% to a new all-time high. With Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) and Amazon fighting to obtain rights to the most valuable content they can get, Disney finds itself in the position of owning a hot commodity. Combine that with its diverse set of businesses and its fairly reasonable valuation, and it's not surprising that investors are bidding up shares.
On the other side of the coin was American Express (NYSE: AXP ) , which was down almost 2%. The company has done a good job of moving beyond its core card business to become a player in the budding electronic and mobile payments industry. Yet with huge competition from other card companies, as well as financial institutions, AmEx can't claim victory yet, and it'll take a long time for the industry to shake itself out.
Finally, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) rose just less than 1% after announcing that it issued a bullish outlook on aircraft demand in China. The aerospace giant expects that China will become the second-largest market in the world for new commercial planes, calling for $670 billion in orders between now and 2031. India also weighs in with big demand, with Boeing estimating orders of about $175 billion. If Boeing can get its fair share of those orders, it could be huge for the stock's long-term prospects.
Keep looking higher
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