Was This Week a Turning Point for the Dow?

After a couple of epic weeks and a bullish streak of historic proportions, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) looks likely to end this week on a level with last Friday's closing prices. Positive housing and jobs data battled with negative vibes out of Cyprus, of all places, and we gained as much on the swings as we lost on the carousel.

That doesn't mean the bull run is dead. Most weeks don't move the Dow very far in either direction. The last 53 weeks, volatile as they may have seemed, saw only nine weekly moves larger than 2%. Even more surprisingly, bullish weeks haven't been radically more frequent than bearish weeks. We're looking back at 30 positive periods versus 23 negative ones.

So which stocks were fighting hard for every yard of weekly gains? Have a look:

Data from Yahoo! Finance.

Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) has surged 40% over the last year, helped by resurgent home sales. But insurance outfit Travelers (NYSE: TRV  ) fared even better with a 44% gain that added nearly 200 points to the Dow all by itself. The oft-overlooked stock did more than any other Dow component to help us reach all-time highs. Not even Superstorm Sandy could slow down the insurer's rise to the top, which points to a fantastically well-managed business.

On the downside, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) held the Dow back by 53 points as the stock swooned 24%. The PC market is buckling under an assault from tablets and smartphones, and Intel's server chips haven't been able to make up the difference yet.

Last, and definitely least in this context, construction equipment giant Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) reduced the Dow by more than 150 points. While this stock seems to tap into the same construction markets that drove Home Depot higher, Caterpillar investors clearly worry more about economic swings and large-scale infrastructure projects.

Next week, the Dow might resume the seemingly stalled bull march. Or it might take a longer breather or even fall a bit. Whatever happens, the upticks are sure to overwhelm the downticks in the long run. Don't do anything too drastic based on one week of market moves.

When it comes to dominating markets, it doesn't get much better than Intel's position in the PC microprocessor arena. However, that market is maturing, and Intel must find new avenues for growth. In this premium research report on Intel, our analyst runs through all of the key topics investors should understand about the chip giant. Click here now to learn more.


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