Even These Dow Laggards Made Money Today

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

For bearish investors, today brought the news that they had been dreading. Just as market pundits admonish investors not to fight the Fed, the European equivalent of that advice held very true, as the European Central Bank came out with a bond-buying proposal that helped bring bond yields in troubled Spain and Italy down sharply. Skeptics may argue that the program doesn't fundamentally change anything on the Continent, but that didn't hold back investors from bidding up share prices substantially. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) gained around 2%, as broader markets participated in the rally.

All 30 Dow stocks saw their prices rise, and even the worst Dow performers finished with decent gains. American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) was the true laggard, but even it managed to rise 0.4%. Despite the strong performance of other financial stocks, AmEx is locked in a longer-term battle over the future of mobile payments. AmEx has chosen to emphasize financial innovation rather than retreating to the strength of its traditional card business. That's probably a smart move, but it also involves a lot of risk, which may be why investors are hesitant to make too big a bet on the stock.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) gained 0.8% after announcing that it would raise its dividend by 3%. Earlier today, Fool contributor Rich Smith speculated that part of the reason for the company's underperformance might be disappointment that Nokia's (NYSE: NOK  ) launch of its new Lumia line appears unlikely to change the paradigm of highly subsidized smartphones.

Finally, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  ) jumped almost 0.9%. It shouldn't shock anyone for a defensively oriented stock to underperform the broader market on an up-day, as one key reason investors own J&J is to hedge against losses. In the long run, though, J&J still needs to address its long-standing problems with recalls, and other quality-control issues, and find a way to renew its popularity with consumers.

Don't bring me down
On an explosive day for the market, it's a bummer when your stocks don't rise all that much. But in the long run, the best 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.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a diagonal call position on Johnson & Johnson, as well as writing a covered strangle position on American Express. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2008996, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/22/2016 4:56:28 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 7 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,145.71 -16.64 -0.09%
S&P 500 2,141.16 -0.18 -0.01%
NASD 5,257.40 15.57 0.30%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/21/2016 4:47 PM
^DJI $18145.71 Down -16.64 -0.09%
AXP $67.36 Up +0.58 +0.87%
American Express CAPS Rating: ****
JNJ $113.44 Down -1.43 -1.24%
Johnson and Johnso… CAPS Rating: ****
NOK $4.92 Down -0.08 -1.60%
Nokia CAPS Rating: **
VZ $48.20 Down -0.94 -1.91%
Verizon Communicat… CAPS Rating: ****