The Dow Inches Higher on Strength From Disney and Microsoft

On its face, Friday's six-point gain for the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) might seem unremarkable, especially in comparison to its record runs in the recent past. Yet, when you consider that the Dow was down most of the day and recovered from losses of as much as 70 points to eke out a daily gain, the end result looks more impressive as yet another sign of how confident investors are in the future of the bull market. Despite some major losses among Dow components, Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) were able to pull up the overall average with good-sized gains today.

Source: Disney.

Disney's 1% gain came as the multimedia entertainment giant reaped the success of its ESPN sports network's decision to carry World Cup soccer coverage. Yesterday's game between the U.S. and Germany earned 10.8 million viewers, which is particularly impressive when you consider that it came in the middle of a workday. Disney's ESPN-viewing streaming service drew a record audience, showing the importance of mobile devices to the viewing experience. Although the heavy traffic caused some disruptions, the fact that Disney has successfully made millions of viewers think about their mobile devices as legitimate ways to watch programming is a huge milestone for the company's broad strategic vision.

Source: Microsoft.

Microsoft climbed 1.25% today, hitting levels not seen since the year 2000. The tech giant didn't have any major news today, but Microsoft also stands to gain substantially from wider acceptance of mobile devices over traditional personal computers. Its own proprietary Surface Pro hardware is only one of the ways in which Microsoft is looking to benefit from the move to mobile, with its efforts to move its software offerings to the cloud through a subscription model having drawn millions of subscribers with recurring revenue potential already. In addition, Microsoft's Bing search is picking up steam, and starting to challenge its larger rival in the space. Combine all that with a healthy dividend, and Microsoft has a lot to offer Dow investors right now.

Obviously, six-point moves for the Dow Jones Industrials aren't generally cause for great celebration. But when the stock market demonstrates its ability, once again, to recover from losses, it shows nervous investors that long-term investing strategies still have the potential to work, even when some believe that valuations are getting uncomfortably high for the Dow overall.

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Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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Related Tickers

9/1/2015 4:35 PM
^DJI $16058.35 Down -469.68 -2.84%
DIS $99.51 Down -2.37 -2.33%
Walt Disney CAPS Rating: *****
MSFT $41.82 Down -1.70 -3.91%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ***