The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) headed south again today. The index now sits at 12,756, down 58 points, or 0.46% on the day. The Dow was up as many as 90 points around 11 AM, but slowly shed those gains throughout the day. The other two major indexes also headed in the wrong direction today: the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) lost five points, or 0.40%, while the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC ) dropped 20 points, or 0.70%.
Getting back to the Dow, today, 24 of its 30 components ended the day in the red. This morning, I explained why Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) , Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) , and Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) were the big losers, while Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) , Disney (NYSE: DIS ) , and Du Pont (NYSE: DD ) ended the day as the big winners.
So why were they higher?
Home Depot was the best performing stock today, moving higher by 3.63%. Prior to the opening bell, the company announced third-quarter earning, which beat analyst's estimates on both the top and bottom lines. The company also increased same-store sales numbers domestically by 4.3%. But the biggest reason that investors piled into the stock today was the company increasing full-year sales estimates. Previously, guidance was set at sales increasing by 4.6% this year; now, the company believes that number will be more around 5.2%.
Shares of Disney were also up, increasing by slightly more than 1% today. Last week, shareholders pounded the stock after third quarter earnings were released. Then, yesterday, shares moved higher by 0.8%; combine that with another 1% increase today, and it's easy to say that the knee-jerk reaction to sell last week was overdone. Long-term investors realize the strength the Disney brand holds, and know that their patience will be rewarded over time.
Another stock moving higher today on essentially no news is Du Pont. Shares closed higher by 0.49%, at $42.91. The company has hit its 52-week low, and investors may be buying on this weakness. Currently, the price to earning is at 13.28, and forward P/E is 11.38, and the company boasts a healthy 4% dividend yield. With bond yields at all-time lows, income investors have been on shopping sprees, gobbling up high dividend paying stocks, and pushing share prices to 52-week highs. Finding a Dow component with such a high yield, selling at such a low P/E doesn't happen every day; hence, the push into the stock today.