Why the Dow's Rocketing to Triple-Digit Gains

It sure didn't take long for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) to forget all about last week. The Dow took off this morning and has shown no signs of slowing down so far: As of 2 p.m. EDT, the index has gained 125 points, or 0.9%, and all but four stocks are in the green. With a bevy of highfliers in the market today and several stocks flirting with 52-week highs in the midst of this week's flurry of earnings reports, let's go around the Dow to see who's winning the day.

A big bevy of good news
While it doesn't seem anybody in the market has figured out the abrupt shakeup of Citigroup's leadership yet, strong news out of both Spain and the U.S. manufacturing sector has boosted the Dow for the day. Regarding the former, a Spanish minister claimed that Spain is considering asking for a line of credit from the European Union in what could be the initial step in a bailout for the debt-plagued nation.

In manufacturing, American industrial output rose 0.4% in September, rebounding from a drop of 1.4% in August that stemmed from damages caused by Hurricane Isaac. Renewed activity in oil and gas wells also kicked up industrial activity. The news took the entire sector higher on the Dow today. Index manufacturing staple Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) ranks among the Dow's leaders with a 2.2% gain so far today.

An uptick in the Consumer Price Index, as well as a sterling earnings report out of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS  ) , took the Dow's financial companies higher. American Express (NYSE: AXP  ) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) have seen shares jump 1.5% and 1.1%, respectively, on the day.

Earnings releases today have been mixed. Health care colossus Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  ) surpassed expectations, and shareholders have been rewarded with shares gaining 1.3%. Meanwhile, Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) experienced a rare miss in its quarterly report. The beverage company ranks among the worst of the Dow members for the day, down 0.8%. United Health (NYSE: UNH  ) also inexplicably dropped following a solid earnings report. It's actually the biggest loser, despite the news, with shares down 1.2%.

Keep your eyes open
There's plenty more on the earnings horizon this week. A full 11 of the Dow members have reported or will report over the five-day span as investors turn their eyes toward the balance sheets. While Caterpillar isn't set to report until next Monday, its gains today should make you wonder whether the massive manufacturer is a buy before the news comes out. Learn all of that and what's in store for this industrial giants future in the Fool’s premium guide to all things Caterpillar. Simply click here to read on.

Dan Carroll has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and has the following options: short OCT 2012 $55.00 puts on American Express Company, short OCT 2012 $60.00 calls on American Express Company, and long OCT 2012 $65.00 calls on American Express Company. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend American Express Company, Goldman Sachs Group, Johnson & Johnson, The Coca-Cola Company, and UnitedHealth Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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