The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) took investors for a ride today, as the index had a daily range of more than 132 points. The blue-chip index opened higher after positive housing data came from the Commerce Department. But investors soon lost that loving feeling and the markets turned south at midday, which is where they stayed until the announcement that Cypriot lawmakers had rejected the bank deposit tax.
The second jolt of positive news was enough to help the Dow close higher by 3.76 points for the session but not quite enough to keep the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq in the black. The broader S&P 500 closed down 3.76, while the technology-heavy Nasdaq lost 8.49 points.
Although the Dow only rose 0.03%, a number of its components posted gains of more than 1% today.
A few Dow winners
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) was one such stock, which rose 1.47%. One of my Foolish colleagues pointed out that Coke is a classic defensive stock, and investors tend to move money into consumer staples when they fear that the markets may soon fall.
Another consumer staple that rose today was Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG). Shares were also up more than 1%. That may not seem like a big move, but for Procter & Gamble, that's a massive one-day jump. Some analysts are claiming the move to safety caused the jump, but others have pointed out that Procter & Gamble recently announced a major capital investment in Africa. In the past, analysts have cited a lack of foreign expansion as reasons to hold off on the stock, so this move could help sway some opinions of Procter & Gamble's future.
Another 1% gainer today was Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), whose shares rose 1.23%. The company is in the midst of a turnaround, and investors have been continuously pouring into the stock since the beginning of the year. Shares have risen more than 62% year to date, making HP the best-performing Dow component in 2013 by a wide margin. The next top Dow stock was Travelers, which is up 15.83% year to date during a time when the index itself has only risen 10.31% this year.
Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.