The 3 Biggest Dow Winners This Week

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) rose a solid 0.9% this week, but a few big names gained considerably more:

Company

Weekly Price Change

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) 7.9%
Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) 7.3%
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) 7.3%

Hewlett-Packard made a lot of news this week. The hardware giant raised its third-quarter earnings outlook past the downbeat guidance it gave last quarter to be more in line with what analysts had expected then. It announced an $8 billion writedown on some of the dumb acquisitions the empire-builder made over past years as the company continues to restructure.

It's not just Dow money-centers Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) and JPMorgan Chase that swing along with news in Europe. Aluminum sales are obviously tied to the global economy, and right now that means eyes are on Europe. There have been increasing signs that European central bankers may soon get a little more aggressive in fighting back against the slow-moving euro train wreck by buying up Spanish and Italian bonds. Ultimately, some form of bond-buying program and/or interest-rate cuts are probably going to be necessary to significantly reduce borrowing costs for eurozone countries that have been hit hard by the financial crisis and recession. Aluminum inventories are somewhat low, and withdrawal orders hit a high this week, which also can't hurt Alcoa.

Early this week, analysts predicted that Cisco will have a strong quarter when it reports earnings next week on strong demand for switching and cost-cutting. By Thursday, Goldman Sachs and Piper Jaffray upgraded the stock. It's still unclear whether stronger demand is going to be a just a blip or a longer-term phenomenon; a lot depends on the unknown European economy, though it's possible the stock is reasonably priced enough to reduce the risk to investors if demand remains a bit bumpy.

HP, Alcoa, and Cisco all crushed the market this week, but as investors it's also important for us to remember to keep our eyes on long-term performance. If you're looking for some more stock ideas, the Motley Fool recently highlighted "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need." You can get the full scoop on these three promising Dow dividend dynamos.

Ilan Moscovitz doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cisco Systems, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Goldman Sachs and formerly recommended JPMorgan Chase. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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