Why the Dow Swung 125 Points Higher Today

It took more than five years, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) finally made up all the ground it lost in the financial crisis, surging to close at an all-time high today. China's announcement that it will maintain its 7.5% GDP growth goal eased Wall Street concerns about the global economy, sending the Dow 125 points, or about 0.9%, higher to close at 14,253.

Networking technology powerhouse Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) added 2.3% to lead the Dow today. It seems merely being a tech stock was good enough for investors to bid up shares today, as the sector enjoyed a strong day across the board. Now up more than 10% in the past three months, the stock is enjoying a nice rally that could continue as corporations reinvest their record profits. 

Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) , one of only two stocks to lose ground in the index today, was the weakest-performing blue chip, falling 0.4%. With an annual dividend approaching 3% and a mature, globally recognized brand, Coke doesn't exactly have explosive growth prospects, which may have hurt shares today as investors embraced riskier options.

After being upgraded today by research firm Needham from a hold to a buy rating, shares of Stratasys (NASDAQ: SSYS  ) , up as much as 7.8% early in the day, closed with 1% losses. The volatile day comes after the 3-D printing company announced a blowout quarter Monday, exceeding sales and earnings expectations. With the stock having already risen more than 7% yesterday, shareholders may have realized they were going a little nuts over the results, selling off after the stock reached its euphoric morning high.

Though not in the Dow, Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD  ) was a bright spot in the broader market, as the stock jumped 5.6%. The news rallying the retailer came from a regulatory filing released yesterday that showed Chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert purchased $55 million worth of Sears stock recently, a direct vote of confidence. It's never a bad thing for investors when management puts its money where its mouth is, aligning incentives with those of shareholders.

Once a high-flying tech darling, Cisco is now on the radar of value-oriented dividend lovers. That doesn't mean shares can't still offer impressive potential returns. Get the lowdown on the routing juggernaut in The Motley Fool's premium report. Click here now to get started.


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