Dow Watch: Gains for Disney, BofA

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes down 16.09 points, or 0.2%, at 8410.65.
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Updated from 3:41 p.m. EDT

Yesterday Was Better

(

At 5:20 p.m. EDT

)

Can't go up every day, I suppose. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell for the first time this month Tuesday, closing down 16.09 points, or 0.2%, at 8410.65.

Fine, I realize this is only the third trading day of the month, but we had something good going there. Now it's gone.

No need to panic though. All told, the index never did much from start to finish, trading between 8363 and 8458. Of the 30 industrials, 18 fell, 11 rose and one,

GE

(GE) - Get Report

, was unchanged.

Image placeholder title

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

, better by 4.4% at $10.84, had the biggest gain, followed by a 4% increase for

Kraft

(KFT)

to $25.22.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

rose 3.4% to $3.31.

On the losing side,

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

fell 2.7% to $34.82, and

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

gave back 2.6% to $26.57.

Following the close, we got something we've seen a lot from the Dow components this quarter -- profits fell, though they were better than forecast, while revenue was weaker than expected. This time it was

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

.

The company

earned 43 cents a share

, on an adjusted basis, for the latest quarter, topping estimates by 3 cents. Revenue, however, was just slightly light, falling 7% to $8.09 billion. As for its segments, revenue rose at media networks and consumer products, but fell at parks, the studio division and interactive media.

Shares of Disney were up in the after market, rising 2.4% to $23.70. In regular trading, the stock advanced 1.3% to $23.15. We'll see if it can help out again tomorrow.

Overall, Not Much Happening Here

(

At 3:35 p.m. EDT

)

With about 30 minutes left in the trading day, the

Dow

still isn't doing much. The range, in six hours, has been less than 100 points -- 8363 to 8458.

Recently, it was down 26 at 8400. A couple more losers have been added, meaning 18 components are in the red and 12 are positive.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

and

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

remained stronger, and on a percentage basis they were the best performers, each adding more than 5%.

Kraft

(KFT)

also continued to the upside with a gain of more than 4%.

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and

Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

were in the worst shape, falling 2.8%.

Coming up after the close is

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

, whose shares tacked on 0.7% to $23.01. Analysts are looking for a profit of 40 cents for the March quarter and revenue of $8.15 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Does This Clarify Things?

(

At 12:05 p.m. EDT

)

I've read through Ben Bernanke's prepared remarks before Congress, and without question the key part of his testimony, the observation that will most influence the direction of stocks, was this:

"Chair Maloney, Vice Chairman Schumer, Ranking Members Brownback and Brady, and other members of the Committee, I am pleased to be here today to offer my views on recent economic developments, the outlook for the economy, and current conditions in financial markets."

That's a joke. Kidding. The world of finance isn't always a funny place, just most days. Sometimes the material isn't there, but you try to make it work.

In seriousness, the Fed chairman offered up what I would say is measured optimism. We saw some similar language to what he's offered in the past -- talk about how the pace of economic contraction "may be slowing," a few signs of bottoming in the housing market, expectations that activity will reach its worst point then recover later in the year.

At the same time, business investment has been terrible, commercial real estate has been awful, and signs from the labor market suggest "further sizable job losses and increased unemployment in coming months." (

Read his entire introductory comments.

)

Essentially, parts are good, parts remain bad.

Bernanke's continuing to answer questions before legislators, and thus far, the market hasn't had a tremendous reaction to anything he's said. Recently, the

Dow

was down 21 points at 8406. It's been as low as 8387 and as high as 8445.

A little selling pressure. No big deal, really. The DJIA jumped more than 200 Monday, remember.

Losers were edging winners 16-14 approaching midsession.

Kraft

(KFT)

was the top percentage gainer, up 7% to $25.94 following its quarterly results.

Financials were mixed.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

was adding 5.3% to $3.37, and

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

had a 3.7% improvement to $10.77.

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

and

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

, however, slipped.

Procter & Gamble

and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

were having the steepest pullbacks, down around 2% each.

Going for Three Straight

(

At 9:01 a.m. EDT

)

So far, so good for May. Two sessions into the new month, and two higher finishes for the

Dow

. As

pointed out Monday

, the industrials ended the prior session at their best level since mid-January.

Ahead of the open, traders were dealing with another report on the stress tests and which banks are going to need capital. The latest development is that

10 of the 19 being examined

might need more.

We've already heard that

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

and

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

could be in the group. Ultimately, I'm probably with you. Let's stop talking about it, get the results and move on. Thursday's the day, barring another delay.

Elsewhere among the Dow stocks,

Kraft

(KFT)

exceeded analysts' first-quarter estimates, saying its profit rose 10%, and the company affirmed its latest 2009

earnings forecast

of $1.88 a share. However, revenue for the most recent quarter fell 6.5% from a year earlier, hurt by currency translation.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

was also in the news, saying it's bought

software provider Exeros

. Shares of Big Blue will be worth watching, but they weren't trading in the premarket.

Speaking of deals, over at

All Things Digital

there's word that

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

and

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

are "ever closer" to a

search and ad arrangement

. Of course, we've been hearing about this even longer than the stress tests.

Meanwhile, check out

this article

on

Caterpillar

(CAT) - Get Report

. Its stock price has suffered mightily, so is it worth a look now?

A bit later, we'll get testimony from

Federal Reserve

Chairman Ben Bernanke, who will be speaking before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. The market has liked most of what the Fed chief has had to say lately, so we'll see if he can keep his streak going.