Setting new five-year highs has become almost routine for the Dow Jones Industrials lately. The index overcame an early triple-digit decline to close up 35 points on the day, coming within about 75 points of hitting a new closing high. Even though automatic government spending cuts took effect, the market was able to overcome both domestic and international concerns by focusing on generally favorable U.S. economic data. Broader markets also posted modest gains of around a quarter-percent.
Topping the Dow's gainers was Wal-Mart , which rose 1.4%. Late yesterday, the company gave some interesting news related to its fresh produce business, saying that it helped shoppers save $1.2 billion on fruits and vegetables in 2012. Given the drive toward healthier grocery offerings, Wal-Mart clearly wants to communicate that it isn't ceding the space to specialty grocery chains.
Disney also posted a 1.4% gain as it awaits the release of its long-awaited Great and Powerful Oz blockbuster. As Fool contributor Jessica Ailing noted earlier today, the company is facing a potential proxy fight from large institutional investors who aren't happy about Disney's having unified its CEO and board chairman role under Robert Iger. But with plenty of support from its diversified set of businesses, Disney has put up performance that's hard for shareholders to argue with, especially with the stock trading near all-time highs.
Finally, Deckers Outdoor soared 15% after reporting earnings last night. On its face, the report looked unfavorable, with fourth-quarter income dropping 23% from the year-ago period, and earnings guidance for 2013 coming in on the low end of expectations. But the results beat expectations and, with fears of potentially worse results, investors apparently were relieved that the news wasn't worse, and focused on revenue guidance for the current year that exceeded analysts' projections.
Disney's gains today are just the latest in a long streak of strength for the entertainment company. But can the good times last? Get the answers from the Motley Fool's premium research report on the media giant, in which our experts lay out their case on whether Disney makes sense in your portfolio. 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.
The article These Dow Stocks Defied the Sequester originally appeared on Fool.com.Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of 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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