On a day when very investors were given nearly no economic data, the markets barely changed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) closed down just 13 points, or 0.11%, at 12,951. Of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow, 16 of them were in the red when the closing bell rang. This afternoon I explained why Disney (NYSE: DIS ) , JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) , and Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT ) all moved lower -- click here to find out why. Of the 14 stocks that moved higher, three of the best performers today were Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) , Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) , and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) .
So why were they higher?
Hewlett-Packard was surprisingly the Dow's best-performing stock today, closing higher by 5.13%. While the stock has been slammed the past few weeks, lately it has performed quite well. Recent upgrades for both itself and other computer manufactures have caused investors to pile back into the beaten-down stock. Most investors would have agreed that the $11 share price the stock recently hit represented a decent price for value investors to jump into the stock, since book value is around $11.42 per share. If you missed the $11 price, now that the price has rebounded back to $13.53, I would hold off on buying until we see where the company is headed long-term.
Shares of Intel also moved higher today by 2.2% after news broke that indicated the company sold $6 billion in bonds for the purpose of buying back shares and funding other business activities. Shares of Intel are currently trading at 16-month lows and are down 17% year to date. Fool analyst Austin Smith believes Intel is a great buy and that its current dividend is too cheap to ignore.
Wal-Mart shareholders saw their holdings increase by 1.09% today. The company has been in the news a lot lately, now that the holiday shopping season is in full swing. The stock goes ex-dividend tomorrow, so investors who had bought into the stock by today will be awarded the $0.40 dividend for this quarter. While this could have helped move the stock higher, it's very unlikely that was the only driving force. Shares currently are priced very reasonably at 14 times past earnings, and with a 2.2% dividend yield, it's likely that several large portfolio managers are changing their holdings before the end of the year.
When it comes to dominating markets, it doesn't get much better than Intel's position in the PC microprocessor arena. However, that market is maturing, and Intel finds itself in a precarious situation longer term if it doesn't find new avenues for growth. In this premium research report on Intel, our analyst runs through all of the key topics investors should understand about the chip giant. Better yet, you'll continue to receive updates for an entire year. Click here now to learn more.