Putin Sends Dow Up 200 as Threat of War Recedes; Disney Soars on New Deal

Stocks soar as the Russian President backs down from immediate war, but not all of today's gains are related to the potential for peace.

Mar 4, 2014 at 11:00AM

As quickly as investors went into a mini-panic on Monday over the possibility of armed conflict in Ukraine, they breathed a huge sigh of relief this morning as Russian President Vladimir Putin took steps to ease tensions in the region. The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) responded favorably, with stocks soaring almost 200 points as of 10:45 a.m. EST to completely wipe out yesterday's loss. Yet even though all 30 stocks in the Dow were up, leading gainer Disney (NYSE:DIS) had more to celebrate than just a brighter geopolitical situation.

For the Dow Jones Industrials overall, the episode showed the danger of reacting in knee-jerk fashion to news events. Those who panic-sold yesterday were left feeling whiplash from the speed of the reversal. Moreover, this morning's gains were broad-based, with even some industries that arguably might have benefited from a conflict showing solid rises in their share prices. For instance, Boeing (NYSE:BA) was up nearly 2% and United Technologies gained 1%, as investors apparently concluded that the positive benefits to their respective commercial businesses were greater than any upsurge in military-related activity that could have bolstered the companies' defense contract divisions.

Disney's news showed the Dow isn't entirely captive to global politics. The entertainment giant announced last night that it had signed what it called a "groundbreaking long-term, wide-ranging agreement" with Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH) covering everything from Dish's rights to carry Disney programming to new channels and video-on-demand content. In addition, the two companies agreed to dismiss all lawsuits pending between them. The deal allows satellite-video provider Dish a chance to become a bigger Internet-streaming competitor to Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). For Disney, the deal only highlights the value of its popular content, and it also points to better profits for the content provider and its peers in the years to come.

As the Dow surges, keep in mind that as quickly as yesterday's bad news became today's good news, future events could send stocks back downward again. In times of volatility, it's important to make sure you have a long-term investing strategy to follow no matter what news events hit the Dow and the broader stock market.

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Dan Caplinger owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Netflix and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. 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.

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