2 Stocks Boosting the Dow

Some stocks are winning in a down day.

Mike Klesta
Mike Klesta
Sep 24, 2012 at 1:31PM
Markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (Index: ^DJI) is off to a sluggish start this week, with the index down nearly 30 points (0.18%) as of 1:15 p.m EDT. With no major earnings releases due and quantitative easing in the rearview mirror, investors are looking overseas for some sort of buy or sell signal. Unfortunately, they're left with the same old story -- a lack of European unity and no easy solutions to the eurozone problem.

But all is not lost. In an index of 30 stocks, there are bound to be at least some winners. And today, a banking giant and telecom titan are taking the Dow cake.

Bank on this
JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) has eked out a 0.71% gain with the trading day halfway through. But JPMorgan is the exception. Dow component American Express is down for the day, and its financial counterpart Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) has waffled between a slight gain and a slight loss since the start of the trading day. B of A has been a beaten-down stock since the darkest days of the financial crisis. As my Foolish colleague Matt Koppenheffer explains, today's Bank of America is not the same company that was brought to its knees in late 2008 -- a year in which the stock lost nearly 70% of its value. By many measures, the company is cheap today.

But Bank of America isn't for the faint of heart. Quantitative easing has forced interest rates to basement levels, and new government regulations have led banks to use fees to make up for lost revenue. With a beta of 1.8 and facing a lot of economic uncertainty, the stock may offer a potentially wild ride.

Thank you, iPhone
AT&T
(NYSE:T) is up 0.56% after what appeared to have been a solid opening weekend for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) newest iPhone. The telecom company seems to be getting an initial boost off the iPhone 5's success. Apple sold 5 million of the devices in the opening weekend, selling out the initial supply. But analysts were expecting more.

Apple has been hit by other negative news today. The Foxconn controversy has once again bubbled to the surface. Foxconn, a major iPhone supplier, had to halt production at its Chinese facility after a riot broke out over the weekend, resulting in more than 40 injuries. The news has come at an unfortunate time for Apple, as it had hoped to put the labor controversy behind it. Apple is down about 2% on the news.

The market is taking the short view here as it focuses on the first few sales days of what will likely be a blockbuster device. Looking at the long term, Apple should capitalize on the high margins, and AT&T should capitalize on the reccuring revenue stream that comes with an iPhone contract. The Apple dip may offer a buying opportunity for Foolish investors.

Are you an investor who takes the long view? Want to know more about Apple and the major risks and opportunities facing the company as it approaches a mind-boggling trillion-dollar market capitalization? Click here for our premium report on the company.