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Today had a number of surprises in store for investors. With five Dow components reporting third-quarter earnings and a shocking CEO change at Citi, investors had a lot to take in. At the closing bell, most market participants were happy, and with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) sitting at 13,551 -- up more than 127 points, or 0.95% -- this was rather evident.
Any day the Dow is up more than 100 points, there are bound to be some big winners, and today was no different. Three of the biggest winners of the day were: Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) , Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) .
So, why are they up?
Chip giant Intel led all Dow components higher today, with shares increasing by 2.85%. Speculation that Intel may be in Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) eyesight as a new chip manufacturer spurred the rally. Yesterday, news broke that a Samsung official stated Apple would no longer be using the company for its chip designs. Apple itself has recently begun designing chips, which have been used in its latest iPhone, but still has had Samsung manufacture them. With such tension between the two companies' over patent infringement issues, and now that Apple is less reliant on Samsung for chip design, investors are beginning to think that Apple may be searching for a new chip manufacturer. Most believe Intel or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (NYSE: TSM ) would be likely candidates.
Intel's move higher was short-lived; the company announced earnings after the bell and is trading lower by 3.40% in after-hours trading.
Caterpillar had a nice showing today, in which it was up by 2.6%. Pushing the stock higher was a report that American industrial output rose 0.4% in September. After a drop of 1.4% in August, even just a slight move higher was praised by investors in the manufacturing sector. With the stock currently down 6.23% year-to-date, investors would love a few more days like today before the end of the year. Caterpillar is up in the after-hours session by 0.12%.
Finally, shares of Johnson & Johnson moved higher by 1.38% today. The world's largest maker of health products announced earnings this morning, and while third-quarter profit fell 7% from same time frame last year, the company posted net income of $2.97 billion. Sales from Synthes, a surgical trauma equipment and implant maker that J&J purchased in June, raised revenue nearly 6%, while other J&J businesses helped push net income up by a total of 6.5%. Shares of Johnson & Johnson are flat in the after-hours session.
With Apple becoming more self-reliant and designing chips and other components to meet its product’s needs, not designing products that meet chip capabilities, the company has the ability to make a product designers dreams come true. The only problem is that the company’s greatest dreamer, the late Steve Jobs, is no longer around to dream. So who is going to fill his place?