Everyone's paying attention to see whether the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) will finally close above 13,000 for the first time in four years. At around 1:45 p.m. EST, the Dow was hanging just below that level, rising just three points to 12,988. The slight move up comes despite some worries about falling new-home sales and rising gasoline prices.
Among Dow stocks, American Express (NYSE: AXP ) climbed by nearly 1%. The company didn't come out with any news today, but it did file its 2011 annual report with the SEC. A quick glance at the year shows some promising numbers, with net income up 22% to $4.9 billion and continuing strong returns on equity. As credit performance has improved, a rising economy has also led to increases in spending. Yet as Fool blogger Christopher French reminds us, AmEx got its last antitrust settlement payments from competitors Visa (NYSE: V ) and MasterCard in 2011, and so it will need to face the two card-network giants on a more even playing field going forward.
United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) also climbed about 1%. Fool industrials analyst Brendan Byrnes discussed the company today, highlighting its exposure to emerging markets. Some have big concerns about United Tech's defense business, but commercial aviation is a fast-growing segment with plenty of future potential -- potential that the company's buyout of Goodrich should build on.
Finally, Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) rose about 0.7%. Oil prices are on the rise once more, but the company also said yesterday that it was considering building an ethylene plant through its joint venture with ConocoPhillips to take advantage of plentiful shale gas.
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