Another weird and wild day on Wall Street left the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) down just more than eight points, or 0.06%, as the closing bell rang. The index currently sits at 13,548, and had a trading range of 78 points today, touching a high of 13,588 and a low of 13,510. The morning news on jobless claims showed that 46,000 more Americans filed for jobless benefits last week, compared to the prior one. Although two weeks ago we saw claims plunge to 342,000, and this week the number jumped to 388,000, the four week moving average only increased by 750, to 365,000 claims.
The big news today was when Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) prematurely released third quarter earnings. The company's shares were halted for a number of hours, and the stock lost more than 9% of its value. Regardless of when they were announced, the results were not what investors wanted to see.
Even with all this going on, a few Dow stocks managed a win for the day.
Who were they and why were they up?
The insurance giant, Travelers (NYSE: TRV ) announced earnings prior to the opening bell this morning and really impressed investors. The company posted earnings of $2.21 per share for the quarter, while analysts expected just $1.61 per share. What was even better was that the company almost tripled the $0.79 per share it earned during the third quarter of 2011. The main contributing factor for the big per share increase was that the company recently bumped up rates and retained customers in the process. Shares ended the day up 3.59%.
Two other big winners today were Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) and AT&T (NYSE: T ) , which saw shares increase by 2.37% and 0.84%, respectively, after Verizon also announced third quarter results this morning. The company hit analysts' estimates on both the top and bottom lines. But the driving force behind the move higher was that Verizon added 1.5 million new device contracts, a number which blew estimates away.
The two biggest players in the telecommunications sector have performed extremely well over the past few months. A few of the smaller companies have held their own, especially the ones which pay big dividends. Frontier Communications just happens to be such a company. One of our analysts recently put together a great report; in it, you can find out whether or not Frontier is currently a buy. Don't wait, click here.