Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Investors Rush for Safety, Push 3 Dow Components Higher

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

It was a rather terrible day on Wall Street as the major indexes all moved lower by more than 1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) lost 1.07%, or 159 points, and has now fallen to 14,776 after hitting a new all-time high of 15,676 back on September 18. The S&P 500 shed 1.23% today and is now trading at 1,655 after also hitting a fresh all-time high that day at 1,725. But the worst index of the day was the Nasdaq, which lost 2%, or 75 points.

Within the Dow, 27 of the 30 blue-chip stocks that make up the index fell into the red this afternoon. While some of the declines were the result of the general negative sentiment swarming throughout the markets, a few of the losers fell due to company-specific reasons. The three winners of the day -- Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) , Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) -- also moved slightly higher for company-specific news and slightly higher because of another mysterious force. So let's take a look at what those reasons were.

Procter & Gamble rose 0.9% after an analyst at Wells Fargo increased the stock's rating from market perform to outperform. The change was the result of what the analyst sees as positive cost-cutting measures being taken by management. This is a sign that Wall Street believes that what A.G. Lafley is doing with the company is a good thing and will help, not hurt, the long-term prospects of the consumer goods giant.  

As for Wal-Mart, share value increased by 1.43%, making the king of retail the best Dow component of the day. The move came after it announced that it would offer the new iPhone for just $45, which is much lower than even the $99 Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) itself is charging for the device. Wal-Mart will subsidize $55 per phone sold, while the wireless service provider will cover the remainder. The move is an attempt by Wal-Mart to increase store traffic and get customers talking about the retailer as the holiday shopping season heats up. It is unlikely this move will end up costing the company with the extra traffic this offer could drive to stores.

And finally, shares of Coke rose 0.62% on very little news pertaining directly to the company. But what likely caused it (the mysterious force I referred to earlier) and helped Procter & Gamble and Wal-Mart today was the idea that these three companies are safety stocks for many investors.

When we consider the fact that the Dow itself is composed of blue-chip stocks, it may be difficult to imagine that even within that special group there is an even more selective one that is considered by some investors to be to safety outlets during times when the market is falling. But that is exactly what all three of today's Dow winners are considered. They all pay healthy, reliable dividends yielding 3%, 3.2%, and 2.6%, respectively. Although none of them has shown massive revenue growth over the past year, they all have strong balance sheets, have proven themselves to be dependable winners that can weather tough economic times, and are all consumer-facing stocks, which are some of the best companies to own regardless of whether the economy is rocking it or struggling.

A deeper Foolish perspective
The flight to safety likely started today as investors grow more concerned and nervous about what may come from the debt ceiling debates and the government shutdown. For more about great dividend-paying stocks that you can own in good times or bad, check out this free report on rock-solid dividend stocks. In it you will find nine different stocks that fit the bill of not only great companies to own but that pay an extremely safe and reliable dividend. To discover the identities of these companies before the rest of the market catches on, you can download this valuable free report by simply clicking here now.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2674615, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/30/2016 7:55:29 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,308.15 164.70 0.91%
S&P 500 2,168.27 17.14 0.80%
NASD 5,312.00 42.85 0.81%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/30/2016 5:01 PM
^DJI $18308.15 Up +164.70 +0.91%
AAPL $113.05 Up +0.87 +0.78%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
KO $42.32 Up +0.29 +0.69%
Coca-Cola CAPS Rating: ****
PG $89.75 Up +1.52 +1.72%
Procter and Gamble CAPS Rating: ****
WMT $72.12 Up +1.39 +1.97%
Wal-Mart Stores CAPS Rating: ***