These Dow Stocks Defied the Downtrend


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Investing depends entirely on perspective. From a broad viewpoint, the stock market didn't do much today, treading water until a late sell-off near the end of the day left it with modest losses. By the close, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) were down 52 points, and broader market benchmarks posted somewhat larger losses. Market analysts will probably pull out the usual suspects of uncertainty about Europe as well as the Federal Reserve meeting as catalysts for the declines.

But if you look at individual stocks, you can find some sunlight even on a dreary day for the Dow. Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) managed to rise nearly a full percentage point despite -- or perhaps because of -- an upward revision to the number of jobs it plans to cut. With a 2,000-layoff increase bringing the toll to 29,000 total cuts, HP is making a huge bet on its turnaround strategy. If it fails, HP could end up as only a shell of its former self.

Verizon (NYS: VZ) also gained the better part of 1% on the day as it and rival AT&T (NYS: T) start gearing up for the anticipated release of the iPhone 5 later this week. With Verizon implementing a 3% dividend increase last week, the telecom giant seems secure that it will be able to maintain its profitability even in light of hefty subsidy payments for smartphones.

Finally, IBM (NYS: IBM) gained three-quarters of a percent, climbing back above the $200 price level. As longtime Fool contributor Anders Bylund noted earlier today, minor news items probably weren't responsible for the move. Much more important has been IBM's long-term game plan, which Big Blue has executed to perfection thus far, watching hardware companies struggle for survival while it continues its transformation into a high-margin machine.

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Fool contributorDan Caplingerdoesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter,@DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool owns shares of IBM and Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Apple, creating a bull call spread position in Apple, and creating a synthetic long position in IBM. 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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