After falling hard yesterday, the stock market hasn't yet been able to get its feet back under it. As Fool contributor John Maxfield noted earlier today, most of Wall Street's worries center on the fiscal cliff, which could push tax rates soaring and government spending plummeting, with potentially catastrophic consequences for certain companies and the broader economy. The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) quickly gave up early gains and traded down almost 85 points as of 1:25 p.m. EST.
But a few stocks bucked the downtrend. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) was the biggest winner in the Dow, rising more than 2% to rebound partially from its 7% drop yesterday. Although it was peer JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) that got the go-ahead from the Federal Reserve to implement a buyback program, investors are looking forward to when B of A will eventually get permission from the Fed to return capital to shareholders, either through buybacks or with a dividend increase from its token penny-per-share quarterly payout. For its part, JPMorgan gained about half a percent.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) picked up more than 1% on the session. Despite implementing further cost cuts in order to try to boost its bottom line, Boeing got good news on the orders front, confirming a purchase commitment from Kuwait's ALAFCO airplane leasing company for 20 of its 737 MAX planes. The aircraft have a value of $2 billion and push Boeing's net orders past the 1,000 mark for the year, with the bulk of them for its 737 model.
Finally, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) rose 0.8%, even though rival Lenovo posted a 13% boost in profit and overtook HP in global PC-shipment market share. Investors have already bid HP shares down to incorporate just about every piece of bad news for the PC industry, but now it should be clear that the company plans to move in a different direction to try to rebound. If it's successful, loss of PC market share won't mean disaster for HP.