European Elections Have a Minimal Effect on the Dow

After a big weekend in Europe in which France and Greece moved away from austerity measures through their respective elections, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) held up relatively well, declining just 0.23%. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 remained unscathed, with both indices up 0.05% and 0.04%, respectively.

Even though the elections in France and Greece swept in new parties encouraging increased spending instead of cutting budgets, the markets ultimately discounted the news because of the pressure the European Union will still apply to the countries. However, increased spending could lead to economic growth, which in turn would help ease Europe's problems -- but we'll have to watch and see.

Let's look at three Dow components that performed significantly better than the composite as a whole.

Bank of America (NYS: BAC) -- up 2.84%
The financial sector set the standard today in U.S. markets, with the Federal Reserve reporting that consumer borrowing rose during the first quarter at an annual rate of 7.75%. Consumer credit also surged in March at its greatest clip since November 2001. Since the market crash in 2008, consumers have been fixated on paying down debt, but this news might suggest that they're beginning to leverage up again, with automobile purchases being one of the leading purchases accounting for the borrowing increase.

Walt Disney (NYS: DIS) -- up 2.07%
Disney will release earnings tomorrow, but the news today was all about the The Avengers, which dominated the weekend, taking in $200 million in the United States. Counting Europe, where the film opened earlier, the total increases to $640 million. Having such an outstanding opening sheds light on the potential Disney acquired when it purchased Marvel for $4 billion.

Wal-Mart (NYS: WMT) -- up 0.83%
The rollback giant received some great publicity when the world's greatest investor said in a CNBC interview that he didn't change his opinion of the stock over the bride payments in Mexico. This is good news as the company tries to bury the scandal and focus its attention on countering strong same-store sales growth from competitor Costco Wholesale (NAS: COST) .

Only time will tell how the European elections will play out with respect to the current debt crisis and massive unemployment. It's always interesting to see how different politicians affect markets with their agendas and fiscal policy. With this being an election year in the United States, our top analysts have selected a group of companies that could skyrocket after the 2012 presidential election. Check out this free report and get a leg up on Wall Street when these stocks start flying.

At the time thisarticle was published Joel South owns shares of no company listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Costco Wholesale, Walt Disney, and Bank of America.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Walt Disney and Costco Wholesale and creating a diagonal call position in Wal-Mart Stores. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.