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The Dow Pushes Higher Despite European Woes

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Economic news is making waves today, but it hasn't hit the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) yet. With investors and Wall Street still optimistic about a deal to solve the fiscal cliff in the near future, the Dow is up 20 points, or 0.1%, as of 2:15 p.m. EST. After a few lagging market sessions, tech is finally having a good day, although the index is split overall between gaining and falling stocks. Let's have a look at the Dow's biggest movers.

Italy sinking as tech rises
Europe's in turmoil again today, this time thanks to news coming out of Italy. Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti tried to downplay rumors of his resignation as Italy's stock index fell more than 2%. The economically troubled nation's bond yield surged again in Monday trading, and with Italy locked in recession yet again, the timing of the resignation rumors couldn't be worse for the debt-plagued country and the Eurozone at large.

The Dow is far more focused on the fiscal cliff, however -- and with little news from Washington, most stocks have barely budged today. Tech is soaring, however, led by Cisco's (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) gains of 2.5%. The company maintained optimistic forward guidance of 5% to 7% annual long-term growth at its analyst day event last Friday -- a boon for investors, considering this stock's booming prior six months.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) has joined in on the tech surge, with shares up about 2.3%. Speculation has arisen today that investor Carl Icahn is establishing a position in the stock, although HP declined to comment on the matter. It's an important bit of hope for the company, considering the stock's recent nosedive, which was exacerbated by the multibillion-dollar Autonomy writedown and ensuing allegations of fraud.

Choppy waters beyond tech
Stocks are up and down outside of the tech sector. McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) is leading all non-tech stocks higher on the Dow, with shares up 1.3%. The fast-food chain today reported global same-store sales growth of 2.4% last month and topped analyst expectations for sales trends, turning around the company after seeing monthly sales decline in October.

On the losing side of the index, Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) leads all Dow laggards by a large margin, with shares sinking 1.9%. With new-home sales rising in 2012, today's blip is just a small stain on the year for Home Depot. The stock is up more than 50% year to date.

Financial stocks JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) have also fallen slightly today after the sector was weighed down by AIG's (NYSE: AIG  ) report of higher-than-expected insurance claims in the fallout of Hurricane Sandy. The insurer has lost more than 2% on the day.

It's a good day for Cisco despite the market's ups and downs, but should you be interested in this company's successful past few months? Once a high-flying tech darling, Cisco is now on the radar of value-oriented dividend lovers. Get the lowdown on the routing juggernaut in The Motley Fool's premium report. Our report also has you covered with a full year of free analyst updates to keep you informed as its story changes, so click here now to read more.

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