For years, investors have relied on cheap money to fund high stock prices. Yet as promising as positive economic data has been lately, it also raises the question of when the Federal Reserve will stop needing to provide economic stimulus to support the economy. As the Japanese yen continues to plunge and bond yields around the world are on the rise, many investors fear that the end will be at hand a lot sooner than previously thought. Yet most of the damage was confined to international bond markets, as the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) finished with a loss of only 27 points, while the S&P 500 actually gained a fraction of a point to hit another new record.
Within the Dow, though, it was easy to find stocks that bucked the trend and moved higher. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) was the biggest gainer in the Dow, jumping more than 2% as the company said it would present nearly a dozen different abstracts for its Xeljanz rheumatoid arthritis treatment at a European conference next month. With the drug having gotten a negative opinion from the European Medicines Agency lately, Pfizer clearly wants to give regulators there reason to reconsider their views on Xeljanz.
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) also posted gains today, rising 1.5% despite the ongoing controversy about the fate of Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. Today, speculation that Dimon would depart the bank entirely if shareholders force him to give up part of his dual role led many analysts to conclude that the stock would plunge if Dimon actually left. Given the rise in the shares today, though, it seems apparent that investors either disagree or figure that Dimon will win the proxy vote.
Outside the Dow, it was easier to find big winners. Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) soared 14%, adding to its huge gains recently as optimism builds over its Model S electric sedan. With Consumer Reports having given the car its best rating ever, Tesla has clearly put together a desirable car. Whether it can justify the price tag for a broader audience remains to be seen, but for now, investors appear convinced that more good times are still ahead for the young car company.