Positive news on housing, consumer confidence, and durable goods orders all couldn't help investors shack fears of the looming fiscal cliff. Then at about 2 p.m. ET, things got worse, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid commented on his frustrations related to the lack of progress he's seeing in negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff.
And with that, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) closed down 89 points, or 0.69%, at 12,878. Of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow, 23 of them were in the red during today's trading session. This afternoon I explained why Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), Chevron (NYSE:CVX), and American Express (NYSE:AXP) all moved lower -- click here to find out why. Or stick around to find out why Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), United Technologies (NYSE:RTX), and Boeing (NYSE:BA) all moved to the upside.
So why were they higher?
Shares of soft-drink giant Coca-Cola were on the rise again today, up 0.16%. Fool analyst Dan Dzombak noted earlier today that the stock goes ex-dividend tomorrow, and he believes that with no real news about the company today, this may be part of the reason the stock rose. Another reason may be some overhang from Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST), which saw its shares rise by as much as 14% today following an FDA report that health concerns over energy drinks may have been overblown. While Coke is technically a competitor, it's probably better that energy drinks aren't banned, because if that were to happen, soda could be next.
United Technologies released a statement today confirming its previous 2012 guidance today, which helped shares move higher by 0.19%. Analysts are expecting a profit of $5.32 per share on $57.94 billion in revenue for the full year, and management restated its $5.25-to-$5.35-per-share target on $58 billion in sales. The company is set to release fourth-quarter and full-year results on Jan. 21, and buyers at these prices need to remember that United Technologies is one company that would be extremely hurt if we fall off the fiscal cliff. What's more, my fool colleague Anders Bylund recently pointed out that United Tech's share-buyback plan is heading in the wrong direction, with share dilution occurring while the company spends money wastefully.
Finally, shares of aircraft maker Boeing moved higher by 0.3% today, after the U.S. Commerce Department reported factory orders for durable goods. Although the report indicated that actual orders were unchanged for October, economists were expecting a 1% decline. Transportation orders dragged the total lower this month, but some analysts believe the aircraft orders in September were unusually high and this slight pullback was expected.