The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up after 2012 fourth-quarter GDP was revised upward. As of 1:20 p.m. EDT the Dow is up 33 points, or 0.23%, to 14,559. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) is up 0.21% to 1,566.

There were two U.S. economic releases today.

Report

Period

Result

Previous

Weekly new unemployment claims

March 16 to March 23

357,000

341,000

GDP revision

Q4 2012

0.4%

0.1%

Weekly new unemployment claims rose 16,000 to 357,000. New unemployment claims can be rather volatile and had recently been hitting multiyear lows. This jump brings the four-week moving average up just 2,250 to 343,000. This is still below last year's average of 360,000 to 370,000.

US Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Chart

US Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance data by YCharts.

The more interesting number today was the government's final revision of Q4 2012 real GDP to 0.4% growth. GDP was initially reported to be down 0.1% in Q4. That number was then revised to 0.1% growth in Q4, and it now has been updated to 0.4% growth. The increase was led by a 13.2% increase in business investment, particularly in nonresidential structures, equipment, and software. This is good news, as it shows the economy was stronger than previously thought going into 2013, when growth would be dampened by new taxes and the sequester.

Today's Dow leader
Today's Dow leader is United Technologies (NYSE:UTX), up 0.9%. On Tuesday, United Technologies completed the divestiture of its electric power systems unit, which it agreed to do as part of regulatory approval of its acquisition of Goodrich. While some are worried about the sequester's impact on defense stocks, Fool Analyst Rich Smith recently picked United Technologies as his one stock to buy in March.

Second for the Dow today is IBM (NYSE:IBM), up 0.7%. This morning IBM's chief consulting competitor, Accenture, reported better-than-expected earnings for the most recent quarter. Also pushing up IBM was news that the government had signed into law a new cyber-espionage review process for U.S. government technology purchases. This is good news for U.S. tech companies and consultants that work with the government.

Third for the Dow today is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), up 0.4% on no real news. 2012 was a rough year for HP, with the stock down 47%. The stock fell so far that it made the 2013 Dogs of the Dow with its then-dividend yield of 3.72%. This year the stock has made a comeback, up 66% as investors realize the drop was overdone and the company continued executing on its turnaround plans. Last week the company also announced a 10% boost to the dividend, giving the stock a forward yield of 2.45%.

Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Accenture. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.