These 3 Stocks Are Leading the Dow Higher

At the halfway point of the trading day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) was down three points (0.03%) to 13,303. The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) is down two points (0.15%) to 1,436.

The market is largely unchanged as investors wait on Germany's Federal Constitutional Court. The court will rule Wednesday as to whether the European Stability Mechanism, or ESM, should be stopped while the court considers its legality. The ESM is a 500 billion euro fund to bail out EU states in trouble. The ESM was supposed to go into effect in July but can't start until Germany ratifies it.

While the Dow is largely unchanged, many stocks are up.

Today's Dow leaders
Today's Dow leader is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) , up 1.55% to $17.56. The computer maker announced it was expanding its job cuts to 29,000 from 27,000. HP has had a terrible few years as boardroom mismanagement, multiple CEO sackings, and slowing demand for PCs and printers have all conspired to crush the company's stock price. The company recently hit a 52-week low as industry research firm IDC predicted a 4% decline in PC sales this year. Fool analyst Rick Munarriz believes things are only going to get worse for the PC market. Click here for his take.

Today's No. 2 Dow stock is Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) , up 1.48% to $9.23. Alcoa is a cyclical company, highly dependent on GDP growth for profitability. Last week's poor economic releases add to the promise of a move by the Fed to boost economic growth. A stimulus for the economy would be a boon for Alcoa. The aluminum maker has had a rough few years as the economy has slowed, pushing commodity prices down. Aluminum prices have fallen 30% since April 2011, leaving Alcoa's shares in a slump. If China's economy continues to slow, things could get worse for the company. Despite the negatives surrounding Alcoa, Fool analyst Sean Williams believes the aluminum giant will outperform the market. Click here to read his analysis.

Kraft (NYSE: KFT  ) is third, up 1.25% to $40.48. The company was upgraded this morning by RBC to "outperform" from "sector perform." Kraft is splitting up its business next month. It has been down recently, as the post-split earnings guidance for the companies are below analyst expectations. Fool analysts Catherine Baab-Muguira and Isaac Pino recently discussed the company and why investors are enamored of it.

The best approach
Watching the broad market each day is exciting, but investing doesn't have to be gut-wrenching and stressful. If you're in the mood to pick up some solid buys for the long term, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report from Motley Fool's expert analysts called "2 Dirt Cheap Stocks With Huge Dividends." It won't be available forever, so click here -- it's free.

Dan Dzombak can be found on his Facebook page, he holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here and like his Facebook page to follow his investing articles. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not 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.


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