The stock market fell out of the gate this morning, but throughout the day, it has done its best to climb back. Uninspiring housing data has some people worried that a mild winter in the eastern U.S. has merely pushed spring activity forward rather than creating any lasting increase in demand, and overseas, the same economic challenges still face nations around the world. Nevertheless, the Dow Jones Industrials
But some Dow stocks pushed higher early and never looked back. Let's look at a few of them.
Bank of America
It's been an odd couple of days for B of A. Yesterday, even as most banks traded higher, B of A shares fell sharply in what some saw as merely a short pause in the bank's long bull run. Today, the company is back among the Dow's leaders.
One reason may be that the bank denied rumors that B of A might do a secondary stock offering to raise capital. Along with AIG and Morgan Stanley, Bank of America issued new bonds recently to take advantage of low rates. As long as capital markets continue to function, B of A should be able to meet its financing needs without resorting to a dilutive stock offering.
Integrating all the new electronic devices out there may be a thankless task, but it's a profitable one for Cisco. Today, the company announced its intent to help businesses deal with the personal mobile devices their employees use all the time. By balancing security and privacy, the initiative could help companies make their workers more productive without leaving themselves open to attacks.
Longer-term, though, the danger Cisco faces is trying to do too many things at once. Fool tech analyst Eric Bleeker took Cisco to task for its purchase of NDS, as it threatens to take the company's focus off its core business -- which is one that should be sufficient to produce huge profits for investors for years.
With weak data on housing starts, you might think that home-improvement company Home Depot would be down today. But permits were on the rise, suggesting that the lull could be temporary.
More importantly, it's important to remember that Home Depot gets business not just from construction, but also from renovation. So even if new-home-related data is weak, what Home Depot needs is activity in any portion of the housing market. As long as it gets that, Home Depot looks poised to continue its recent gains.
Up or down, the overall market contains plenty of promising stocks that will deliver strong long-term performance. Learn more by checking out the Motley Fool's latest special report on retirement, which highlights three promising stock picks for retirement investors. But don't wait -- get your free report today, while it's still available.