The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is back in the red today, down 55 points, or 0.39%, as of 2:15 p.m. EST. Today's economic news wasn't encouraging, including downbeat unemployment projections, falling productivity in the U.S., and the typical European jitters, so investors seem to be pulling back and waiting for a good buying point as the Dow sits near a 52-week high. Just three of the 30 Dow stocks are in the green today, including one financial company that's managing to please investors.
A speck of green in a sea of red
American Express (NYSE:AXP) has defied the Dow's drop today, with shares gaining 2.8%. Although the company whiffed on its earnings earlier in the year, with net income falling 47%, there are still plenty of reasons for optimism around this stock -- investors have certainly thought so lately. The stock's up 4.3% in just the last four days alone, and today's gains have sent it to a new 52-week high.
Unfortunately for investors, most other companies aren't having such a sunshiny day. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and ExxonMobil are pacing a downbeat day for big energy companies, as the two oil giants have fallen 0.8% and 1.3%, respectively. Chevron did post some good news today -- the discovery of natural gas off the coast of Western Australia, which is key to the company's plan to expand its Asia-Pacific reach. However, with the oil situation in the Middle East in flux -- particularly in Iraq, which is struggling to find a common ground on its oil trade -- the two stocks aren't giving investors much to smile about today.
Industrial giant Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) ranks near the bottom of the Dow today with losses of 1.3%. It's projected that Caterpillar's earnings could fall by as much as 4.4% in 2013 despite record revenue in 2012. A dismal fourth quarter in which Caterpillar was forced to write down $580 million for its acquisition of Chinese company Zhengzhou Siwei Mechanical & Electrical Equipment Manufacturing didn't help. While the stock has gained nearly 15% over the past three months, it looks like a victim of investors waiting for a pullback before jumping back in.
Finally, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) isn't feeling well today, as its shares have fallen 1.1%. CEO Ian Reed recently mentioned that the company could explore splitting its generic medicines and branded-pharmaceuticals businesses, right on the heels of the company's spinoff of animal health firm Zoetis. However, Pfizer is one of the better-positioned Big Pharma players for the near future, scoring a solid earnings report earlier in the year and boasting an enormous reservoir of pipeline drugs.
Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends American Express and Chevron. 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 Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.