The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) continued its impressive run of advancing sessions today, with its third triple-digit gain in a row taking the average above the 15,000 mark, once again. Investors seemed to pay the most attention to comments from various members of the Federal Reserve, who spoke openly about the idea that bond-market investors had misunderstood the Fed's intentions in its interest rate policy decision last week. Bond prices soared as yields dropped back, and stocks took the good news in stride, as well.
But even though the Dow climbed by 114 points, a couple of Dow-component stocks posted declines for the day. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) fell about a third of a percent despite its announcement today of its new Boston-area innovation center. J&J has been trying to recapture its inventive spirit, with plans to create four regional hubs that will include California, London, and Shanghai. The goal of the initiative is to help build technological collaboration in ways that can encourage early-stage corporate deals, and bolster J&J's total portfolio. It's hard to see the market taking this news as a negative, making today's move for J&J stock seem more like short-term noise.
Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) was the other decliner, falling 0.2%. As with J&J, Coke didn't have any major company-specific news, but defensive investors have likely looked to the soft-drink giant as a relatively safe play on potential stock market declines. When risk levels in the stock market drop, investors have traditionally moved away from lower-volatility plays in favor of those with stronger growth prospects. Coke isn't devoid of growth opportunities, especially in emerging markets, but challenges regarding obesity and other industry-specific troubles could hold back the stock in a renewed bull market.
Finally, outside the Dow, gold-mining stocks managed to post gains despite gold's drop to the $1,200 per ounce level. The sector has gotten hit hard, but Newmont Mining (NYSE: NEM ) and Goldcorp (NYSE: GG ) both managed to post 2% gains, as bottom-fishing investors start to wonder how much more further precious metals can fall in the short run. Given that gold's recent drop stemmed from beliefs that the Fed would exit its bond-buying program, it's odd to see the yellow metal fall further today as those beliefs subside, but mining stocks appear to be reacting the way you'd expect.