The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is back in the red today, down 55 points, or 0.39%, as of 2:15 p.m. EST. Today's economic news wasn't encouraging, including downbeat unemployment projections, falling productivity in the U.S., and the typical European jitters, so investors seem to be pulling back and waiting for a good buying point as the Dow sits near a 52-week high. Just three of the 30 Dow stocks are in the green today, including one financial company that's managing to please investors.
A speck of green in a sea of red
American Express (NYSE:AXP) has defied the Dow's drop today, with shares gaining 2.8%. Although the company whiffed on its earnings earlier in the year, with net income falling 47%, there are still plenty of reasons for optimism around this stock -- investors have certainly thought so lately. The stock's up 4.3% in just the last four days alone, and today's gains have sent it to a new 52-week high.
Unfortunately for investors, most other companies aren't having such a sunshiny day. Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and ExxonMobil are pacing a downbeat day for big energy companies, as the two oil giants have fallen 0.8% and 1.3%, respectively. Chevron did post some good news today -- the discovery of natural gas off the coast of Western Australia, which is key to the company's plan to expand its Asia-Pacific reach. However, with the oil situation in the Middle East in flux -- particularly in Iraq, which is struggling to find a common ground on its oil trade -- the two stocks aren't giving investors much to smile about today.
Industrial giant Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) ranks near the bottom of the Dow today with losses of 1.3%. It's projected that Caterpillar's earnings could fall by as much as 4.4% in 2013 despite record revenue in 2012. A dismal fourth quarter in which Caterpillar was forced to write down $580 million for its acquisition of Chinese company Zhengzhou Siwei Mechanical & Electrical Equipment Manufacturing didn't help. While the stock has gained nearly 15% over the past three months, it looks like a victim of investors waiting for a pullback before jumping back in.
Finally, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) isn't feeling well today, as its shares have fallen 1.1%. CEO Ian Reed recently mentioned that the company could explore splitting its generic medicines and branded-pharmaceuticals businesses, right on the heels of the company's spinoff of animal health firm Zoetis. However, Pfizer is one of the better-positioned Big Pharma players for the near future, scoring a solid earnings report earlier in the year and boasting an enormous reservoir of pipeline drugs.