The books are now closed on April, leaving a pungent distaste in the mouths of investors as the seven-month rally for the Dow Jones Industrials
The macroeconomic news of the day played a minor role in today's activities. The biggest macro news once again concerns Spain, which becomes the eighth European country to enter into recession so far in 2012. On the domestic side, business activity expanded at its lowest clip since 2009.
The storyline for today involved an unlikely pairing between the struggling brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble
Another interesting storyline involving a Dow component was Coca-Cola's rumored involvement with Monster Beverage
Although the Dow closed the day in the red, a few companies bucked the trend and turned in a good day's performance:
Kraft Foods, up 1.19%
Kraft had some good action today, primarily on an earlier report from JPMorgan analysts that upgraded the stock from neutral to overweight and revised the target share price to $45, up 13% from the current price. Kraft's guidance for the remainder of 2012 looks positive, which will help bring in sentiment before the company splits its snacks and grocery lines into two separate businesses, which is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The drugmaker's subsidiaries won a patent-infringement case against Sigma Pharmaceuticals over asthma drugs being imported from Poland to the U.K. This can be seen as good news because of the amount of outstanding proceeding the company is facing.
Cisco had some good price movement today after providing second-quarter guidance numbers that were higher than analyst forecasts. The company predicted revenue in the ballpark of $46.5 million to $48.5 million, which is anywhere from 0.1% to 4% over current expectations.
Now that April is past, creating a hiccup on the outstanding growth we have witnessed in the past two years, I believe now is another great time to invite you to look at some of the top stocks for 2012. If you don't already have these stocks in your portfolio, now might be the time to add them -- or, at the minimum, see what they have to offer. Our analysts have picked five investments that all investors will need to be familiar with. This report is free for a limited time. Don't let 2012 slip by without cashing in on these great stocks.
Joel South owns shares of no company listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and Coca-Cola. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Monster Beverage, Microsoft, and Coca-Cola, creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft, and writing puts on Barnes & Noble. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.