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As hard as you work in your career, it’s always good when your money works as hard as you do. Unfortunately, the overall market didn’t deliver for investors today, as an early positive response to encouraging news about U.S. employment faded out toward the end of the day. Broader market measures finished down slightly on the day, but even though the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) didn’t manage to hold onto all of its 85-point gains from earlier in the session, it did finish up about 35 points.
Several stocks helped keep the Dow in the green, even when the broader market eased lower. Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) was the big gainer in the Dow, rising more than 2%, to finish at another 11-year high. Certainly, the consumer-facing home improvement company will benefit from more people working, but more important to Home Depot’s long-term prospects is whether recent good news on the housing front can continue into the traditionally slow fall and winter months. If the recovery stays strong, then Home Depot could head much higher, especially if rival Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW ) continues to remain unable to match its success.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) picked up 1.4%, as the company shipped its first 787 Dreamliner aircraft built in its South Carolina facility. With Boeing’s production traditionally centered on its facilities in the Seattle area, the aerospace giant has had a huge success in ramping up its North Charleston site in just three years. Continued success will be crucial if Boeing wants to meet the huge demand for its planes.
Finally, DuPont (NYSE: DD ) gained about 1.2%. The chemical giant definitely has a cyclical aspect to its business, and therefore is prone to rise when the economy improves. But, as Fool contributor Dan Carroll noted earlier this week, positive numbers on the overall manufacturing sector masked weakness in the chemicals industry. With analysts already expecting a year-over-year drop in earnings per share by nearly a third when it reports later this month, DuPont will have to prove to investors that it will be able to lead its industry out of the slow economy.
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