The "fiscal cliff" is still garnering headlines nationwide, but markets have looked past that for now and are flat for a second straight day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is down a mere 11 points, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) has lost a fraction of a point near the end of trading.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) was the big earnings news of the day, announcing a 4.3% increase in same-store sales. The stock has jumped 3.8% and could still have some room to run in a Sandy-fueled fourth quarter. Santa may be stuffing stockings with two-by-fours and Skilsaws in the Northeastern U.S. this holiday season, rather than electronics and candy, which would be a boost for Home Depot.

Disney (NYSE:DIS) was another big winner, jumping about 1.2% in a steady climb today. The company is coming off a tough earnings report, but the stock was beaten down more than it should have been last week, and investors are now jumping on this stock.

On the downside, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is being beaten up after the architect of Windows 8 decided to leave the company. Steven Sinofsky left without reason at a crucial time for the software maker, and this just adds questions about the company's strategy going forward. Sinofsky was rumored to be a CEO candidate and was a key contributor to the executive team. In a company the size of Microsoft, I don't think this is a terrible thing in the long term, but in the short term it will not be looked on positively by investors.

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.