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The stock market has been tenacious lately, and today was no exception. After dropping sharply in the morning after weak economic data raised some concerns about the sustainability of the recovery, stocks bounced back in dramatic fashion, with the Nasdaq Composite actually finishing in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) weren't quite as lucky, but the average still finished with a loss of just 11 points to close at 13,269 after having been down by as much as 85 points earlier in the day.
A few stocks rallied even more strongly. Let's take a closer look at three of the Dow's gainers today.
Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) , up 0.8%
Intel has been riding high, with the stock adding to the eight-year high it hit yesterday. But the semiconductor company isn't resting on its success.
Today, Intel's purchase of computing-interconnect technology from Cray (Nasdaq: CRAY ) , initially announced last week, went through. Intel sees the move helping to add to its high-performance computing portfolio, with both intellectual property and human capital providing value. Time will tell, but as Intel tries to provide more integrated solutions for its customer base, maximizing quality will be an important way the company can differentiate itself from its competitors.
Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) , up 0.7%
Speaking of highs, Home Depot did Intel one better, setting another 11-year high today. Hope about an improving economy has helped push the stock up, but part of Home Depot's success has been adapting to tough conditions.
Whether homeowners are buying new properties or renovating old ones, Home Depot has found ways to profit from them. If remodeling trends continue and new home sales pick up, then the home-improvement retailer could find the sweet spot it's been seeking for years. Shares are already richly valued, but the growth potential may well justify the stock's price.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG ) , up 0.6%
P&G gave some of its customers good news today by releasing a portable chewable tablet version of its Pepto-Bismol, but I'll go out on a limb and say that the stock probably didn't rise because of it.
But the new product gives a good example of how P&G is positioned to perform well in the future. The company does a great job identifying customer needs, and with a huge and growing population in overseas markets seeing P&G products on an increasingly frequent basis, innovation will be a key part of the consumer giant's success.
In the home stretch
Earnings season has gone very well so far, but there are still a few companies left to report. Read The Motley Fool's latest special report on this quarter's earnings to find out about five stocks you can't afford to ignore this quarter. It's absolutely free but won't be around much longer, so don't wait.