Why the Dow Was Up This Week

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The Dow Jones (INDEX: ^DJI  ) rode a strong start on Tuesday (the market was closed Monday) to close up 1.2% for the week (12,359.92).

The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) and Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC  ) followed suit, rising 1.6% and 2.7% each.

It was a week marked by low trading activity and no major news. There was some favorable economic data coming from retail, housing, and employment and continued anxiousness over the state of Europe's economy and tensions in the Middle East. The usual.

Looking at the individual Dow components, 22 out of the 30 stocks rose for the week. After ending 2011 as the worst-performing Dow stock, Bank of America came out roaring with an 11.2% increase for the week. It was followed by Microsoft [8.3%], Disney [6.4%], and JPMorgan Chase [6.3%]. The banking sector was buoyed Thursday by rumors of a big mortgage-refinancing program. The White House squelched the rumors later in the day, yet the gains mostly remain.

The biggest losers of the week were the telecom big boys, Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) [-4.5%] and AT&T (NYSE: T  ) [-1.9%], as Verizon's CFO revealed the extent of the Apple iPhone's margin hit to the wireless business -- 500 to 600 basis points. Apple's market power is truly a marvel.

It's fun to look at the weekly (and daily ... and hourly) market news, but remember to keep your perspective and invest for the long term (years and decades). 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 Apple, JPMorgan Chase, Walt Disney, Bank of America, and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Microsoft, and Walt Disney and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft and in Apple. 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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Today's Market

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DOW 18,223.03 77.32 0.43%
S&P 500 2,151.33 10.17 0.47%
NASD 5,309.83 52.43 1.00%

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10/24/2016 4:56 PM
^DJI $18223.03 Up +77.32 +0.43%
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^IXIC $5309.83 Up +52.43 +1.00%
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T $36.86 Down -0.63 -1.68%
AT and T CAPS Rating: ****
VZ $48.21 Up +0.01 +0.02%
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