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Today was a mixed day overall for the markets, with two of the three major indices ending the day in the black. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) led the charge, closing up 0.76%. The S&P 500 closed essentially flat, up 0.07%, while the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC ) finished slightly in the red, as disappointing earnings from Google helped drag it down 0.06%.
But while the major indices as a whole didn't see huge moves today, three technology companies on the Dow posted some tremendous gains. Microsoft (NYSE: MSFT ) was the Dow's biggest gainer today, skyrocketing 5.65%. The company beat analyst expectations on both revenue and earnings in its fiscal second quarter. Strong revenues from Microsoft's Office software and Xbox divisions helped the company overcome weak personal-computer orders.
IBM (NYSE: IBM ) was the second-biggest winner on the day, surging 4.43%. The company also reported impressive earnings that beat analyst expectations. Operating profits per share increased by 11% as the company finished a record year for revenue and earnings per share. IBM's stock swung from negative to positive on the year after today's big gain.
The third-biggest Dow winner was Hewlett Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) , which ended the day up 3.61%. HP rode the tech wave higher on the day, and the company is now up over 9% on the year after a dismal 2011.
While Microsoft, IBM, and HPQ all surged today, our Chief Investment Officer has picked out one stock that he believes will crush the market for all of 2012. To see this company, check out our brand new report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." You can get instant access to the name and analysis of this company by clicking here -- it's absolutely free.