Today, investors received a number of positive earnings reports, and the number of weekly jobs claims fell to a five-year low, at 320,000. By mid-afternoon, all three major indexes were moving higher. Unfortunately, by the closing bell, all had slid into negative territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) lost 22 points, or 0.15%, and now rests at 15,082, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ lost 0.37% and 0.12%, respectively.
Outside the Dow, Green Mountain Coffee, Groupon, and Tesla all soared higher today after posting better-than-expected results last night, and although none of the Dow's 30 components reported after the market closed yesterday or this morning, a few companies still saw shares rise more than 1% today.
Big Dow winners
Despite news that a senior sales representative is alleging that Merck (NYSE:MRK) discriminates against female employees, and is seeking over $100 million, shares of the drug manufacturer closed higher by 1.11% today. One reason may be an article from Forbes, which states that Merck's prescriptions cost more in North America than any other major drug company in the world. This data shows that Merck has very strong pricing power and it fully knows how to use it.
3M (NYSE:MMM) became the Dow's big winner of the day, after shares closed higher by 1.59%. My colleague Travis Hoium pointed out earlier today that the company has increased its dividend for 53 straight years, and the stock currently sells at just 15 times forward earnings. I must admit that I often forget about 3M, because it produces products that I simply take for granted. I also assume that their products experience little innovation or change over the years. But, that may not be true. Just recently, 3M announced that it had changed its basic masking tape line of products. Instead of just one, the company now offers five different types, based on different applications that they can be used for. Who knew masking tape could get better?
Shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) were also flying higher today after the Japanese Airline All Nippon Airways announced that it would resume flying the 787 Dreamliner on June 1. The airline currently owns more 787s than any other company in the world, and this is a great sign that the Dreamliner is truly back. Additionally, today Boeing reported that the first Dreamliner built at the higher production rate rolled off the assembly line this week. Currently, the company is on pace to produce 10 787s per month. Boeing's stock price increased by 0.61% during today's session.