Money is returning to equity markets in a major way. Tuesday's gains brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) to rest 6.5% higher than it opened the year, and with only two days left of trading, January looks to be quite a profitable month for Wall Street. The Dow gained 72 points, or 0.52%, to close at 13,954 today.

Leading the blue-chip index higher was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), which added 3.2%. Pfizer forecast higher-than-expected profits for the coming year, and announced that it may consider splitting up the generic and branded parts of its business to create shareholder value. Telecom bellwether Verizon (NYSE:VZ) was the Dow's second-biggest gainer, adding 1.7%. On Tuesday the company announced that its network covered 94% of the "Philadelphia Tri-State Region" and 89% of the country. Current pricing of the shares has the annual dividend at an impressive 4.8%. 

Elsewhere in the Dow, shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) were not so impressive, stumbling 3.2% as HP claimed its spot as the top blue-chip laggard of the day. HP was denied the right to depose a number of General Motors workers today by a Texas judge. HP suspects that the employees in question were wooed away from HP last month in an "exodus" of 18 people that may have violated non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements. 

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), which has been gobbling up companies at an alarming pace, continued to satiate its appetite today by absorbing a Czech network security firm, Cognitive Security, for an undisclosed amount of money. Cisco's stock fell by 1.3% on news that it was contacted by the government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team for vague online safety reasons

Fool contributor John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

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