Why the Dow Ended at Five-Year Highs Today

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

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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