Disney May Help End Dow's Record Run

It's a quiet day on the economic front, giving investors little reason to move markets sharply higher or lower. As of 3:20 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is up a minuscule 0.02%, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) is down just 0.21%. On a company level, the fireworks are a bit brighter. Ten of the Dow's 30 components have moved more than 1% today; here are the highlights.

Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) has dropped 1% today after the company announced a change in strategy for Lucasfilm's Star Wars TV series. Star Wars: The Clone Wars will no longer make new episodes for Cartoon Network, but beyond that, details are sparse. The company will produce some sort of Star Wars content "set in a time period previously untouched" but didn't say when or where the content would appear. Conventional wisdom would say Disney XD has a shot, and we'll have to wait and see if that's the case.

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) is the Dow's biggest loser with a 1.7% drop today. Industrials are trading lower today, although there's little news driving the move south. The stock is one of the few Dow components that hasn't participated in the 2013 rally, essentially trading flat for the year. A disappointing fourth quarter and worry over economic growth both in China and at home have held the stock back recently.

Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) is among the stocks bucking the negative trend in a big way, climbing 3.1% today. The company got the OK to continue a large trial of Vytorin, a cholesterol drug that would compete with Pfizer's Lipitor. Final results won't be in until late next year, but with a huge market potential, this is a big step forward for the drug.

Sizing up Disney?
It's easy to forget that Walt Disney is more than just the House of Mouse. True, Disney amusement parks around the world hosted more than 121 million guests in 2011. But from its vast catalog of characters to its monster collection of media networks, much of Disney's allure for investors lies in its diversity, and The Motley Fool's new premium research report lays out the case for investing in Disney today. This report includes the key items investors must watch, as well as the opportunities and threats the company faces going forward. So don't miss out -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.


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