The Stocks That Powered the Dow Today

If you had the three major indices in a 2012 survivor pool, only the S&P 500 would be left. The Dow was basically flat today but technically snapped its two-day winning streak:

Index

Change

Ending Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) -2.72 [-0.02%] 12,415.70
Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC  ) +21.50 [+0.81%] 2,669.86
S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) +3.76 [+0.29%] 1,281.06

When you see the Nasdaq outperforming the S&P and Dow, you'd expect a tech-stock surge. But the Dow tech components were mixed, with Microsoft and Intel up a bit and Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM down.

Instead, it was the financial sector that powered the Dow today. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) led all Dow components with a whopping 8.6% surge. JPMorgan Chase [2.1%], American Express [+1.2%], and Travelers [+1%] were each up as well. Looking more broadly, the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE: XLF  ) was up 1.4%. 

The big news driving the financial industry was rumors over a possible major refinancing plan for American homeowners. However, Bloomberg reported later in the day that the White House is denying those rumors. The only thing I'm predicting -- expect more volatility.

It's fun to look at the daily market news, but remember to keep your perspective and invest for the long term. If you're looking for a long-term stock pick, our chief investment officer has identified his No. 1 stock for the next year. Find out which stock he likes in our brand-new free report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." I invite you to take a copy, free for a limited time. Get access to the report and find out the name of this legendary company.

Anand Chokkavelu owns shares of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Cisco, and Microsoft and warrants in JPMorgan Chase. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, Cisco Systems, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, IBM, and Bank of America, has created a bull call spread position on Cisco Systems, and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and Intel, creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft and Intel, and creating a write covered strangle position in American Express. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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