Top 3 Dow Stocks This Week

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Earnings season began this week with a whimper. Alcoa (NYSE: AA  ) reported results that were largely in line with expectations, and despite a slightly positive outlook for 2013, markets moved slightly only higher for the week. In the end, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) was up 0.40% this week, and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) gained 0.38%.

There were some big movers on the Dow this week. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) rose 6.7% as the stock continues to recover from major losses after it announced its Autonomy writedown. This week brought renewed talk of a possible breakup, with the notion this time coming from Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi -- and for the time being, investors have bought into the idea. This is something of a dead-cat bounce for HP. It's tough to argue that the business is healthy, so I'd approach the stock with caution.  

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) was the second biggest winner on the Dow, gaining 4% this week. Holiday PC sales fell 6.4% in 2012, but Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) announced that it had sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses as of Jan. 8. This was a strange holiday season for the PC, with consumers tepid about the new Windows operating system, which hurt Intel as a result. But the coming quarters may not be so bad: Helping Intel was an announcement that Lenovo will sell a smartphone based on Intel's latest chip. Smartphones are an untapped market for Intel, so any wins on that front would be big news.

Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) was up 3% this week, and investors were buying bad news on Friday. The company began recalling Tredaptive, a drug that was supposed to raise "good" cholesterol.The product is relatively small, generating less than $20 million of sales, so the news didn't dissuade investors from buying this week. With a 11.7 forward P/E ratio and a 4% dividend yield, the stock is still trading in a reasonable range in a steady health-care field.

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Related Tickers

9/26/2016 4:00 PM
AA $9.68 Down -0.08 -0.82%
Alcoa CAPS Rating: ***
HPQ $15.02 Down -0.07 -0.46%
HP CAPS Rating: ***
INTC $36.65 Down -0.54 -1.45%
Intel CAPS Rating: ****
MRK $62.15 Down -0.81 -1.29%
Merck and Co. CAPS Rating: ****
MSFT $56.90 Down -0.53 -0.92%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****