One of the best quarters in stock market history came to a close today on a positive note, as the market ended mostly higher. After having closed 2011 with worries about everything from a European collapse to budget woes in the U.S. and a slowdown in China, investors now seem to see the glass as being half full. The Dow Jones Industrial Index
Let's take a look at some of the best-performing Dow stocks today.
The company that brought you Mickey Mouse benefited from an analyst upgrade at Lazard today. But the more interesting news from the company came from a collaboration between Disney and a Japanese gaming platform.
Disney said it would develop social games for mobile platforms with DeNA based on Marvel characters including Captain America and Iron Man. The move could provide some free publicity in Japan for the films based on the same characters. More importantly, this small collaboration could mark just the beginning of Disney's move to get more serious about using its content on mobile and social platforms.
Hewlett-Packard has gone through a number of big strategic changes and acquisitions over the years. But as it tries to rebound from a long slump, HP should probably tread carefully before trying to buy its way into another big merger.
Some have speculated that HP could try to boost its mobile presence by buying out Research In Motion
The pharmaceutical industry used to be all about developing new drugs. Now, drug companies are starting to turn to their biotech peers for guidance -- and growth.
With Merck's initiative earlier this month to establish the California Institute for Biomedical Research, the drug giant is trying to find ways to leverage R&D spending in directions that are most likely to bring new ideas. Whether the moves bear fruit will take years to figure out, but for now, Merck is holding its own by keeping up with its competitors on this new investment front.
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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.