Earnings season is over, and that means that all investors have to do is fret about everything that could go wrong for stocks. The fiscal cliff, fighting in the Middle East, and more aftermath from Hurricane Sandy had markets back in fear mode this week, and as a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) fell 1.77% while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) fell 1.45% for the week. But there were a few stocks that bucked the trend.
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) jumped 7% this week after posting strong earnings. The company beat estimates on both the top and bottom line, bucking some fairly negative sentiment against the stock. Cisco trades at only 8.6 times next year's earnings estimate and pays a 3.1% dividend, so investors looking for value in the tech space may want to take another look.
Home Depot (NYSE:HD) rose a more modest 1.9% after beating earnings estimate. The company will also be one of the winners from Hurricane Sandy, one of the positive side effects of a natural disaster. On a larger note, Home Depot should benefit from an increase in homebuilding, something fellow Fool Morgan Housel points to as a very bullish sign for the economy.
Disney (NYSE:DIS) rose 0.8% this week, more on a bounce from last week than anything else. The stock fell 5.6% last week on a disappointing outlook for next quarter but the long-term thesis on the stock is still in place. My fellow Fools and I even made an outperform call on the stock this week.
For the long-term investor, it was positive to see strong earnings reports from Cisco and Home Depot. Issues such as the fiscal cliff will continue to garner most of the day-to-day attention of investors, but it's earnings that drive stocks long term. If Washington gets its act together, we'll eventually get back to the point where that's what really matters.