For the first time this week, the stock market has stayed relatively calm in trading. Following a pair of triple-digit moves to start out the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has stayed somewhat more restrained in its enthusiasm today, climbing 66 points as of 1:15 p.m. EDT. Mixed economic news kept the stock market in check near the open but then led some investors to conclude that the likelihood of more accommodation from the Federal Reserve might make uncertainty about future economic conditions the best possible outcome for stocks, at least for now.
Looking at the top performers in the Dow so far today reveals some other clues about what's happening in the broader market. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) has continued its recent run higher, jumping 2.7% to hit another 52-week high. Rising interest rates have spooked the overall market lately, but for B of A and other banks, a potentially steeper yield curve could actually benefit the bank. Rising net interest margin would help the bank boost its profit, albeit with the attendant cost of a likely decline in mortgage-refinancing activity that would inevitably accompany higher long-term rates.
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO ) also ranks among the Dow's best gainers, rising 1.7% and continuing a trend that we've seen among tech stocks in recent days. As the Dow has climbed higher, more investors have looked for value propositions, and they have found the usual suspects in defensive sectors like consumer staples wanting. One big wild card for Cisco is whether the U.S. government will make it easier for it and its tech peers to repatriate offshore cash, as the networking giant has a huge portion of its cash hoard outside U.S. borders.
Finally, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) has also climbed 1.5% after it received its first orders for the 787-10X version of its Dreamliner aircraft. Even though the program to build the stretched-out version of the Dreamliner hasn't even gotten off the ground yet, Singapore Airlines was willing to make its order with the expectation of receiving aircraft beginning in 2018 or 2019. Given the huge potential in the aerospace industry, this order should be only the first of many that Boeing will receive in the months and years to come, and that's a compelling long-term support for the stock.
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