No market can go up forever, and the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) finally gave in to the inevitable, failing to set its ninth straight record and instead closing down 25 points. All in all, though, the stock market was still pretty optimistic, allowing neither inflationary pressure on consumer prices nor weaker consumer confidence cause a major reversal. Broader market measures also finished modestly lower, with the S&P 500 finishing less than five points below its own all-time record high.
But some stocks in the Dow certainly tried their best to extend the average's winning streak. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) soared almost 4% on news that it would buy back more than $10 billion in common and preferred shares, finally delivering on the much-anticipated hope that the company would return capital to shareholders. Yet those wanting higher dividends than the token $0.01 quarterly payout per share have to be disappointed by the emphasis on buybacks, especially with the shares trading almost 150% above where the company could have repurchased them in late 2011.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) also finished higher, rising more than 2% as the company said it believes that its grounded 787 Dreamliner could be back in the air within weeks after it implements a fix for its lithium-ion battery problems. Once that problem is finally in the past, investors should be able to refocus on the trillion-dollar potential that the aerospace industry has for Boeing in the coming decades.
Outside the Dow, Comstock Resources (NYSE: CRK ) vaulted higher by 13% after fellow independent oil and gas producer Rosetta Resources (NASDAQ: ROSE ) agreed to buy Comstock assets in West Texas in the Permian Basin area. The move will help diversify Rosetta's heavy concentration in the Eagle Ford area, but it will give Comstock more cash to spend on capital expenditures to build up its Eagle Ford presence.
More records in store?
Even though the Dow's record streak may be over for now, the stock market isn't doomed to fall further. The strength of these winning stocks is just one example of how, even in a down market, you can find winners that will serve you well both now and for the long run.
The big question that Bank of America shareholders are trying to figure out is whether the stock can keep winning after having doubled in 2012. In The Motley Fool's premium research report on B of A, analysts Anand Chokkavelu and Matt Koppenheffer lift the veil on the bank's operations, giving the pros and cons of investing in Bank of America right now. Don't wait another minute -- click here now to claim your copy.