The 4 Stocks That Pulled the Markets Out of the Doldrums

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April 15, 2014: Markets opened slightly higher on Tuesday with shares moving up before bouncing down after headlines related to confrontations in Ukraine. By afternoon markets had recovered somewhat to trade at about the level at which they opened the day. A few minutes before trading closes today the DJIA was up 0.57%, the S&P 500 was up 0.70%, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.38%.

A solid first-quarter earnings report from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) boosted the healthcare giant to trade at around $99.14 today posting a rise of 2.06% shortly before today’s closing bell. The stock’s 52-week range is $82.07 to $99.38. Share volume was about 15% above the daily average of around 9 million shares traded.

Another Dow 30 stock to report earnings this morning, The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) traded up 3.8% at $40.21 in a 52-week range of $36.83 to $43.43. The soft-drink maker didn’t post particularly impressive numbers, but they were good enough to beat pretty low expectations. Volume was more than double the daily average of around 17 million shares traded.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was another good Dow performer today. Volume was not particularly strong and there was no news, so this could just be some buying from investors who saw the price as too good to pass up. The stock traded at $39.89, up 1.79% in a 52-week range of $28.50 to $41.66. Volume was about 25% below the daily average of around 45 million shares traded.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) added 1.52%, trading at $204.03 a few minutes before closing. The stock’s 52-week range is $161.27 to $235.50. Buying picked up in the early afternoon and the shares nearly $5 before the bell. Volume was about 10% below the daily average of 3.7 million shares traded.

Of the Dow 30 stocks 23 closed higher today and just 7 closed lower.