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2 Blue Chip Stock Market Winners No One's Talking About -- but Should Be

By Dan Caplinger - Mar 8, 2021 at 5:52PM

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Forget the Nasdaq and look at what's still working.

The stock market's divergence continued on Monday, with a late-day drop that sent both the S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.99%) and Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.00%) lower on the day. The Nasdaq's drop was by far the larger of the two, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.61%) not only gained ground but also jumped to an intraday record high before giving back a portion of its gains.

Index

Percentage Change (Decline)

Point Change

Dow

+0.97%

+306

S&P 500

(0.54%)

(21)

Nasdaq Composite

(2.41%)

(311)

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

The Nasdaq's plunge has everyone worried about a potential market crash. Yet there are high-quality blue chip stocks in plain sight that are still gaining ground. Today, Disney (DIS 2.28%) and Southwest Airlines (LUV 6.01%) soared, and they appear to have the wind at their backs for the foreseeable future.

A grand reopening for Disney?

Shares of Disney were up 6% on Monday, soaring above the $200 mark for the first time. The entertainment and media giant got good news regarding one of its businesses that has languished for a long time.

The State of California released new health rules that will allow Anaheim's Disneyland to reopen as early as April 1. The phased reopening won't let Disney have an unlimited right to let as many people as it wants back into the park. But if COVID-19 levels in nearby counties reach certain levels, then Disneyland would qualify for a 25% capacity reopening.

Not all of the news from Disney today was good. Over the weekend, the company's latest theatrical release didn't generate as big a box office take as hoped. Some theater operators were unhappy that Raya and The Last Dragon was available on the Disney+ streaming platform at the same time it was opening in theaters.

Nevertheless, much of Disney's struggles lately have stemmed from coronavirus-related issues. With the economy showing signs of life and the hope for a full reopening getting closer to reality, investors have high hopes that the entertainment giant can produce a magical recovery in 2021.

Southwest flies higher again

Meanwhile, in the travel industry, investors kept betting on a full rebound. Southwest was one of many beneficiaries, jumping more than 6% to reach its best level in nearly three years.

Many Americans have been stuck at home for more than a year, and they're ready to travel as soon as the time is right. With stimulus checks set to go out very shortly, many recipients will likely use that money for trips, including airfare and accommodations.

The stimulus legislation also includes additional financial assistance for Southwest and its peers. That should allow airlines to keep meeting their payrolls, preserving jobs and sustaining sources of income for thousands of employees.

There's still a lot of work for Southwest to do to get back to normal, and some believe that the stock's returning to these levels is premature. Nevertheless, it reflects the huge level of optimism people have in Southwest and other airlines right now.

Find winners

Stock markets change, and the stocks that were winners last year won't necessarily keep being winners forever. It always pays to search for high-quality companies like Southwest and Disney that can weather difficulties and emerge stronger than ever.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
DIS
$105.61 (2.28%) $2.35
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$32,637.19 (1.61%) $516.91
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$4,057.84 (1.99%) $79.11
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
^IXIC
$11,434.74 (0.00%) $0.00
Southwest Airlines Co. Stock Quote
Southwest Airlines Co.
LUV
$45.00 (6.01%) $2.55

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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