It's starting to get almost routine: The market plunges out of the gate, only to spend the rest of the day clawing back toward breakeven but falling short. In today's installment, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) were down almost 185 points at their worst levels but managed to rebound to avoid triple-digit losses and finish down just 0.75%. Gold, oil, and many foreign stock markets also closed lower as frantic traders have seemed to be in a hurry to dump just about every risky asset they own.
But even as the Dow posted its sixth straight drop, a few of its components finished in the green. Let's take a closer look at three of them.
Disney (NYS: DIS) , up 1.6%
No matter how badly the overall market does, a positive earnings report can boost a company's shares. That's what Disney managed to do today.
As Fool contributor Tim Beyers discussed in detail today, Disney appears to be firing on nearly all cylinders. Although most people are focusing on its blockbuster Avengers movie, Disney really doesn't live or die by its studio releases. Media networks such as ABC and ESPN, along with the company's theme parks and resort properties, combine to make up nearly four-fifths of sales -- and both divisions have been healthy. With plenty of characters left to use in films and cross-marketing opportunities, Disney shouldn't run out of profit-making material anytime soon.
An FDA advisory panel voted 8-2 in favor of recommending approval for tofacitinib, Pfizer's rheumatoid arthritis drug. If the FDA goes on to approve the drug -- which is by no means automatic even after the advisory panel's recommendation -- then Pfizer will have a big competitive advantage over competing drugs from rivals Abbott Labs (NYS: ABT) and Merck in that their drugs require injections, while tofacitinib is taken orally. Pfizer will probably have to wait until August for a final FDA decision, but investors aren't scared to celebrate early.
Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) , up 0.9%
The tech industry is full of rumors. But one that's going around now certainly makes for interesting conjecture.
Various tech blogs mention rumors that Microsoft is trying to get Facebook to develop a smartphone using the Windows Phone operating system rather than Android. Such a partnership would have some appeal, as it would allow Microsoft and Facebook to team up against its main competitors in their respective spaces. Big moves aren't likely during Facebook's IPO roadshow, but shareholders should keep their eyes open to potential new developments.
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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorDan Caplingerdoesn't own shares of the companies mentioned. You can follow him onTwitter. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Abbott Labs, and Disney.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Microsoft, Disney, and Pfizer, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Fool has adisclosure policy.
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