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How the Dow Wiped Out Triple-Digit Losses

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Triple-digit losses sure gave the feeling of another sour day on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , but since then the index has been on a tear. As of 2:15 p.m. EST, the Dow has risen 65 points, or 0.5%. Most Dow members are solidly in the green today, with numerous stocks pulling in gains of more than 1%. Let's get caught up on the biggest news around the Dow.

A good day for bulls
The Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) and Autonomy saga rages on, and the tech stock has risen to lead all Dow members today, up 2.6%. It's the latest see-saw move by one of the index's worst performers over the last few years. HP now claims it has new, "extensive evidence" of fraudulent behavior by Autonomy. Right now it's nearly impossible to predict the daily swings of this volatile stock, and for most investors, it would be best to wait for the Autonomy drama to die down before looking into HP.

In less volatile news, it's a good day for industrials after President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner expressed optimism that a deal on resolving the fiscal cliff would be reached before the end of the year. The cliff is projected to negatively impact GDP and the overall economy sharply, which would greatly damage the industrial sector in particular.

Among the sector's top risers on the Dow, shares of United Technologies (NYSE: UTX  ) have soared 1.2%, while Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) is up 1%. Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman was one of several CEOs meeting with President Obama today to discuss solutions for the fiscal cliff.

Shares of Exxon-Mobil (NYSE: XOM  ) is up 0.6% so far today. The oil giant is seeking regulatory and shareholder approval to complete its purchase of Celtic Exploration. Furthermore, Imperial Oil (NYSEMKT: IMO  ) agreed to invest $1.5 billion in a 50% stake of Celtic once Exxon's purchase is finalized. With the two companies set to pick up hundreds of thousands of natural-gas-rich acres, Exxon looks to have hit on a strong buy.

Few losers on the day
There's not much activity in the red, but Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) rank among the top Dow laggards for the day, with shares down 0.7% and 0.76%, respectively. There's little earth-shaking news regarding either company, but both stocks have performed well over the last six months -- so don't let today's minor correction shake your conviction.

Building up your portfolio
Caterpillar's having a good day despite concerns swirling around industrials over the fiscal cliff. The company is the market share leader in an industry in which size matters, and its quality products, extensive service network, and unparalleled brand strength combine to give it solid competitive advantages. Do these key traits make the stock a buy? Read all about Caterpillar's strengths and weaknesses in our brand-new report. Just click here to access it now.

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