The Dow's Top 3 Stocks This Week

It was a strange week on Wall Street, highlighted by a slew of earnings reports, an economic slowdown in China, and an epic fall for gold. At the end of the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) had fallen 2.14% and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) was off 2.11%. The biggest data point investors should be concerned with was 7.7% GDP growth in China, which fell short of the 8% estimate. Growth of 7.7% would be a blistering pace in the U.S., but in China it's a snail's pace, and the country's growth has been the one bright spot for the global economy.

There was some good news on the market this week. Here are the top three stocks on the Dow.

Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) was the biggest winner, jumping 3.8% this week. The company made all of its gains on Tuesday after it reported first-quarter earnings. Revenue fell 0.9% in the quarter, but earnings of $0.46 per share were enough to beat expectations by a penny, and investors rejoiced at the news. Coca-Cola is obviously not a high growth stock these days, but it has very steady earnings, and investors will pay a premium for that in uncertain economic times.

Intel's (NASDAQ: INTC  ) first-quarter earnings report on Tuesday wasn't particularly impressive, but shares moved 3.5% higher on the week nevertheless. The company actually missed estimates, but it kept full-year guidance of low single-digit growth and a 60% gross margin, give or take a few percentage points. When IDC reported a 14% decline in PC sales earlier this month, there was fear that Intel would be hit with falling demand. Short-term we're seeing some of that pressure, but management's expectation for growth in 2013 assumes some wins in mobile computing, so the PC decline may not hurt as much as we once thought.  

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) spent most of the week moving sideways, but a big jump on Friday led to a 3.4% gain for the week. The catalyst was a much stronger earnings report than expected. You may think that Microsoft is struggling with the decline of the PC, but first-quarter results tell a very different story. Revenue was up 17.8% and net income jumped 19% to $6.06 billion, or $0.72 per share, beating the $0.68 estimate from Wall Street. What was most impressive was a 23% increase in revenue from the Windows unit. This may not be a sign that the PC is back, but it's definitely a sign that Microsoft can survive the downturn in PC sales.

It's been a frustrating path for Microsoft investors, who've watched the company fail to capitalize on the incredible growth in mobile over the past decade. However, with the release of its own tablet, along with the widely anticipated Windows 8 operating system, the company is looking to make a splash in this booming market. In this brand-new premium report on Microsoft, our analyst explains that while the opportunity is huge, the challenges are many. He's also providing regular updates as key events occur, so make sure to claim a copy of this report now by clicking here.


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