Why These Stocks Are Leading the Dow Higher

After some early-morning losses, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) bounced back to trade up as much as 80 points before giving back most of those gains. As of 1:30 p.m. EST the index is up about 33 points. Between earnings news and concerns about the fiscal cliff, it's been difficult for the market to find direction so far this week, and until there's some resolution among the many economic and geopolitical issues affecting the markets right now, you can expect to see an ongoing battle between bulls and bears without much movement from the broader market.

But there's no shortage of individual stocks making big moves today. Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) soared more than 4% after releasing a favorable third-quarter earnings report. The company posted a better-than-expected 4.3% increase in same-store sales and boosted its earnings guidance for the full year. With just about all of the impact from Hurricane Sandy due to hit during the fourth quarter, today's move upward could be just another phase in the ongoing bull story for the home improvement stock.

Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) has gained almost 1.5% today. The company has had a nice run thanks to its animated hit Wreck-It Ralph, but the stock has still only earned back about a third of its losses following its earnings report last week. Still, the company is moving forward with some interesting initiatives, including a partnership that will bring Disney content to film rival Sony's PlayStation gaming platform. Given the value of its content, Disney is doing well to monetize it in as many ways as it can.

Finally, telecom giants AT&T and Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) are both up about 1% today. For Verizon's part, it plans to get its 55% share of an $8.5 billion dividend from its Verizon Wireless joint venture with Vodafone (Nasdaq: VOD  ) by the end of the year. Meanwhile, AT&T plans to push hard toward expanding its LTE wireless network. Both companies are banking on faster phones to consume more data and therefore drive high-priced data plans.

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