IBM Carries the Dow on its Back


The Dow Jones Industrial Average might be having a good day, but you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at the index's members. Stocks on the Dow are split between losers and risers -- but despite that, the index has still managed to pick up gains of 70 points, or 0.5%, as of 2:15 p.m. EST. However, one tech stock's big day is taking the Dow higher in spite of the general market malaise.

IBM on a tear
The Dow's price-weighted average means that tech giant IBM -- with a price tag exceeding $200 per share -- commands an inordinate amount of sway over the Dow's day-to-day movement, commanding 11% of the index. So far today, the stock has gained nearly 5% and is approaching all-time highs.

Record profits in the wake of IBM's sterling fourth quarter have investors smiling. Net income increased 6%, led by areas such as cloud computing, data analytics, and other "high-value businesses," as CEO Ginni Rometty referred to them.

IBM's not the only company having a good day, however. Disney has also hit a new 52-week (and record) high, with shares up 2.3% so far. Analysts project the entertainment company, which has seen its stock surge nearly 6% over the past month alone, to continue rising on theme park and film revenue, as well as continued sturdiness in other platforms such as its ESPN network.

Despite IBM and Disney's strong success today, however, many of the Dow's other components aren't having such a great day.

Johnson & Johnson reported fourth-quarter profit that soundly beat last year's mark and exceeded projections, while sales also grew handily over 2011. Despite that, shares of the medical giant are up just 0.14% today, weighed down by disappointing guidance figures that muted investor optimism. J&J's full-year guidance of profit falling between $5.35 and $5.45 per share falls below expectations. However, the company's massive, diversified reach across nearly every health care industry shouldn't scare you away from an otherwise top-tier stock.

Energy stocks aren't much to write home about either, as both Chevron and Exxon-Mobil are falling, with shares down 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively. The energy sector is down in general today, but with gasoline futures rising, Chevron and Exxon -- both stocks that look relatively cheap at the moment -- could be set to continue their gains of the past year.

Are more gains coming?
Disney's on a roll today, but should this stock's high turn you away? From its vast catalog of characters to its monster collection of media networks, much of Disney's allure for investors lies in its diversity, and The Motley Fool's new premium research report lays out the case for investing in Disney today. This report includes the key items investors must watch, as well as the opportunities and threats the company faces going forward. We're also providing a full year of regular analyst updates as news develops, so don't miss out -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.

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Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Johnson & Johnson and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of ExxonMobil, International Business Machines, Johnson & Johnson, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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