Another Record-Setting Day for the Markets

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

After weeks of flirting with the all-time high, and watching the Dow break its all-time high eight days in a row, the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) finally set its own record. Today the index broke its previously set all-time closing high of 1,565, when it managed to gain 6.34 points, or 0.41% today, and close at 1,569. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) and the NASDAQ rose higher, as well, but by slightly lower percentages. The Dow gained 52 points, or 0.36%, while the NASDAQ rose 0.34%.

The record was set on a day when investors were hit with a mixed bag of macro-economic events and data points. The Cypriot banks opened today essentially without a hitch, which was seen as a positive, but jobless claims here at home rose last week by 16,000, to 357,000, for the week ending March 23. Increased unemployment is never a good thing, but that negative data point was rebutted today by a revised GDP number for the fourth quarter of 2012. The government's final reading was 0.4% growth during the last three months of last year, which is much better than the initial reading of a 0.1% contraction, or even the reading from last month, which reported growth of only 0.1% for the final months of 2012.  

As we all know, the indexes are moved by the underlining components. So let's take a look at a few of the Dow's big winners today.

A few Dow winners
After rising 1.75% yesterday, shares of UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH  ) continued their climb higher today, gaining another 1.04%. The reason for both yesterday's and today's rise is that many market participants believe the Medicare Advantage reimbursement rates will not be slashed as previously expected. UnitedHealth is one of the largest health-care insurers, and a large portion of its revenue comes from Medicare and other government programs. If future rates remain the same or increase, the company's revenue and profits should benefit. 

The Dow's technology stocks played a large role in today's move higher. Shares of IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) rose 1.14%, while Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) gained 1.1%, and even big softy Microsoft joined the party, as shares inched higher by 0.83%. My Fool colleague John Divine noted earlier today that demand for supercomputers is rising, and that sales of high-end devices rose 30% last year. This news certainly helped IBM today, and likely pushed H-P higher, as well. While most would agree that IBM offers the top-of-the-line products in this space, H-P has been emphasizing the quality of their own mainframes, but at a lower price.  

Personally, I'm not yet sold on H-P's turnaround plans, and wouldn't be a buyer today, but that's not to say that it couldn't be the right company for some investors. Find out more about whether this is one of the least-appreciated turnaround stories on the market, or a minor blip on its road to irrelevance. The Motley Fool's technology analyst details exactly what investors need to know about HP in our new premium research report. Just click here now to get your copy today.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (7)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2337782, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/30/2016 9:32:36 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 16 minutes ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,308.15 164.70 0.91%
S&P 500 2,168.27 17.14 0.80%
NASD 5,312.00 42.85 0.81%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/30/2016 4:03 PM
HPQ $15.53 Up +0.14 +0.91%
HP CAPS Rating: ***
UNH $140.00 Up +1.68 +1.21%
UnitedHealth Group CAPS Rating: ****
^DJI $18308.15 Up +164.70 +0.91%
^GSPC $2168.27 Up +17.14 +0.80%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
IBM $158.85 Up +0.74 +0.47%
IBM CAPS Rating: ****