It's always nice when central banks turn on the spigots and give the economy a jolt in the arm. But in the end, if those efforts don't actually result in gains, they're meaningless. That's why today's promising data showing that existing-home sales rose a much greater than expected 7.8% in August was particularly useful, as it takes QE3 and its previous incarnations out of the realm of theory and shows actual hard results. Largely on optimism from that report, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) gained about 13 points today.

Among top Dow stocks, Disney (NYSE: DIS) was a big winner, rising more than 1.5%. New technology has increased the value of original content, and Disney generates some of the most valuable content out there, from its nearly century-old library of movies to its network entertainment. As Fool contributor Tim Beyers pointed out today, Disney has made the most of acquisitions such as Pixar and Marvel, and it has the ability to keep on scoring big wins well into the future.

Home Depot (NYSE: HD) gained about 1% in a fairly predictable response to the good news in housing. Surprisingly, Home Depot has managed to post strong financials and nice stock performance despite a slow housing market. If a true recovery starts taking hold, though, then it might bring a new wave of good news for Home Depot.

Finally, Kraft (Nasdaq: KFT) also enjoyed a 1% gain, probably in sympathy with General Mills (NYSE: GIS), which picked up almost 2% after a positive earnings report. Unlike General Mills, which bought Yoplait and has made a big push into the yogurt market, Kraft gave up on its Athenos Greek yogurt brand earlier this year. Given the dominance of Chobani over the Greek yogurt market, though, it's hard to fault Kraft's decision to give up its fight and focus on other areas.

Hit me baby, one more time
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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.