Twenty-eight of the 30 Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) stocks were trading down at midday. The index lost 160 points, mostly thanks to a spate of weak earnings reports. It's almost silly to talk about the index's "biggest winners" on a day like this.
And yet, there are a couple of bona fide winners even today. The jumps may not be large, but they're bucking the trend nonetheless.
Let's start in the financial sector. Bank of America shares gained a modest 0.3% today, making it the Dow's largest gainer. And no, it's not a broad sector surge; fellow Dow component JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) fell 1.1%, and well-respected rival Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) is down 0.8%. Big banks were not immune to today's market malaise.
But the bank had some good news to share today. Bank of America is on track to comply with a government-ordered mortgage reduction program that dates back to the 2008 crisis. More than $4.7 billion in principal reductions have been approved to date. This is good news, because the bank could be subject to federal penalties if it fails to honor this commitment. So the stock is treading water while many others are sinking.
So how about Home Depot? The home improvement retailer eked out a 0.1% gained just after lunch. The National Association of Realtors just reported figures on sales of existing homes, and it wasn't bad. Sales are up 11% year over year, and there are more potential buyers than approved mortgage applications on the market right now. These are healthy trends, and NAR spokesman Larry Yun called it "a genuine recovery" in the making.
As you know, Home Depot thrives on resales. Every fixer-upper is a potential goldmine for this company. That's all it takes to make a modest winner amid the Dow's general bloodbath.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo & Company. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend The Home Depot and Wells Fargo & Company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
More from The Motley Fool
These Bank Bets Put Even Bitcoin to Shame
Find out why you have less than a year left to use some of these unusual investments.
The Best 2018 New Year's Resolution You Can Make
It's time to put this financial tool on your side.
Bank of America Has Bought Back 290 Million Shares So Far in 2017. Should Investors Be Happy?
The bank has accelerated its buyback efforts -- why?