Sometimes no news is good news. After getting punched in the gut by poor economic data from both here and abroad, along with a eurozone seemingly coming apart at the seams, the markets are experiencing a quiet day that's sending them into positive territory.
This small gain goes in contrast to Goldman Sachs' (NYS: GS) bearish call on the S&P 500 yesterday. While urging caution amid chaos is no sin, it's amusing that just three short months ago Goldman said stocks were "on a steady upward trajectory" with generationally good prospects. And that was with the S&P higher than it is today! The markets are dynamic, and I certainly won't fault Goldman for changing its opinions when the facts don't support them. But reversing from a screaming buy to a short in three months raises eyebrows, especially considering the firm's past behavior of allegedly going against its clients.
That said, let's take a closer look at how the three major indexes are faring.
Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI)
Source: Yahoo! Finance as of 1:35 p.m.
The major U.S. indexes are all gaining ground, with the Nasdaq leading the charge. Despite spiking up in yesterday's chaos, the market's "fear index" has fallen back into its pattern of declines. The VIX (NYS: ^VIX) is down over 8% today.
Despite Moody's downgrades to various "too big to fail" institutions, the financial sector is largely up. Dow component JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM) is the index's top performer, up 2% so far this session. Moody's downgrade was largely telegraphed, so investors were actually bracing for worse results in some cases.
One notable Nasdaq decliner is Arena Pharmaceuticals (NAS: ARNA) , which is down 12% today. No news is compelling the sell-off, but the approval date for its obesity drug lorcaserin is set for June 27, so the make-or-break moment for Arena is almost at hand. For a stock up more than 700% in the last 12 months, some profit-taking ahead of a binary event is generally a wise move.
And for more risk-averse investors who enjoy solid dividend payments over boom-and-bust events, I have good news. The Dow is loaded with companies with solid dividend payouts and highly sustainable business models built for the long haul. The stocks highlighted in The Motley Fool's new special FREE report, "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need," all have an X factor that makes them stand out from their illustrious Dow peers. Download it now, for free.
The article The Dow Defies Wall Street originally appeared on Fool.com.
David Williamsonholds no position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Goldman Sachs and Moody's. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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