3 Winners Defying the Dow's Drop

At the halfway point of the trading day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) was down 56 points (-0.42%) to 13,458. The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) is down one point (-0.1%) to 1,443.

The markets are falling on reports that Spain is seeking a bailout from the EU, but Germany has asked Spain to hold off. A bailout of Spain would be a good thing, but the question of whether it will happen is making investors nervous. It's also raining in New York City, which pushes down the market.

The markets as a whole are down, but a few are resisting the downward slide.

Today's Dow leaders
Today's Dow leader is Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) , up 0.39% ($0.12) to $29.61. The company is gearing up for the Windows 8 launch later this month. Last week Intel created a stir when a report came out that CEO Paul Otellini reportedly bashed Windows 8 at an internal meeting in Taipei. The company has since put out a press release denying the report.

Fool analyst Eric Bleeker took a look at the growing rift between Microsoft and Intel. Click here for his take.

Next up is UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) , up 0.3% ($0.17) to $56.63. The managed-care industry is up as a whole. The only specific news to report is that UnitedHealth competitor WellPoint announced a sale of $1.35 billion of convertible debt. The managed-care industry is largely immune to the trials and tribulations of Europe, moving more with the industry regulation.

Fool analyst Amanda Alix recently took a closer look at UnitedHealth. Click here for her take.

Third for the day is 3M (NYSE: MMM) , up 0.16% ($0.15) to $93.44. Yesterday 3M announced it is acquiring Ceradynefor a 40% premium. Ceradyne is a leader in the advanced-ceramics industry. Advanced ceramics are used for everything from corrosion and heat resistance to armor.

Fool analysts Isaac Pino and Blake Bos took a look at the merger and what it means for 3M investors; click here for their take.

The best approach
The rest of the week is full of potentially market-shaking events. Watching the broad market each day is exciting, but investing doesn't have to be gut-wrenching and stressful. If you're in the mood to pick up some solid buys for the long term, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report from our expert analysts called "2 Dirt Cheap Stocks With Huge Dividends." It won't be available forever, so click here -- it's free.

Read Full Story