So far, it's been a pretty ugly day on Wall Street. Stocks fell sharply to open the session as worse-than-expected economic news from the U.S. raised more concerns about the future path of the economy. But following news from Spain about how much Spanish banks might need in order to absorb the impact from any further economic distress in the beleaguered European nation, stocks bounced back a bit. By 1:15 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) had cut their losses in half, falling about 52 points.

But some stocks traded higher. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) soared more than 2% after analysts at Morgan Stanley increased their estimates of earnings per share for the networking giant. With Cisco being consistently conservative with its own outlooks, positive news from outside the company often has a strong impact on the shares.

IBM (NYSE:IBM) rose almost 1% on reports from AllThingsD that the company is getting ready to launch its "Project Sparta" data management and analysis system. Given the huge volumes of data available to businesses around the world, finding ways to make that data valuable has huge potential, and IBM is smart to get in on the trend as quickly as possible before Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) and other rivals can get a big headstart.

Finally, American Express (NYSE:AXP) gained the better part of 1%. Investors remain excited about AmEx's prospects in the mobile-payments space, which has become one of the biggest catalysts for growth in the financial-services industry. AmEx faces plenty of competition, but its refusal to give way to its peers is definitely a mark in its favor.

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 IBM, Cisco Systems, and Oracle. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic long position in IBM and writing a covered strangle position in 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.