The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) again eked out another record close, finishing higher by five points and making it seven days in a row that the average has finished at new all-time highs. At this point, the market seems like it's heading higher based solely on pure momentum, as some of the support from favorable economic data has tapered off, and macroeconomic concerns are slowly rearing their heads again.
But a look at seven winning stocks from today should give you a sense of where the strength in the market is coming from:
- IBM (NYSE: IBM ) was the Dow's biggest percentage gainer, rising almost three-quarters of a percent to hit its own record high. IBM has the largest impact on the Dow because of its high share price, and as Fool contributor Anders Bylund discussed earlier today, IBM's extensive buybacks have historically supported its earnings as it strives to reach its $20-per-share earnings goal by 2015.
- Caesars Entertainment jumped another 9%, setting a new 52-week high as investors continue to anticipate the positive impact of online gaming in New Jersey. The debt-ridden company has seen its shares triple just since November on hopes that the new opportunity will reverse its long spell of underperformance compared with more internationally focused rivals.
- Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) soared 6% as the company announced that it will integrate with Facebook to share their opinions of favorite shows and movies. The move emphasizes the importance of social features in every facet of people's lives.
- VMware (NYSE: VMW ) and EMC (NYSE: EMC ) climbed 8% and 2%, respectively, as they announced a plan to spin off VMware's Cloud Foundry and EMC's Greenplum services into a separate company to be called Pivotal. VMware also gave favorable guidance on revenue, which also helped boost its shares.
- National Financial Partners jumped 10% in the latest example of the importance that mergers and acquisitions are playing in the bull market. The company said that it may look for a buyer, having gotten interest from several private-equity firms.
- Silver Spring Networks represented the IPO market, coming public at $17 per share and rising 29% in its first day of trading. IPOs haven't all been positive lately, but if they revive, then it could push the market even higher.
Anywhere you look, you can find signs of strength in the market. The Dow might not set records every day, but as long as that overall strength persists, stocks should be able to stay near their highs.
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