Wall Street Roller Coaster Went Over Some Big Hills Today

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) closing today's trading session higher by 80 points, or 0.53%, the average investor seeing the headlines may just think it was another slow and easy day on Wall Street. But, that couldn't be any farther from the truth. The Dow had a trading range from 14,844 to 15,040, where it closed. That's a 196-point swing today, and because the markets moved higher at the open and didn't nose dive until around noon EDT, the rally back to the highs of the day was quite the welcome surprise.

Investors are likely nervous about what tomorrow's jobs report will show, and how it will affect the Fed's policies, which could be why stocks fell during the middle of the day. But, it seems evident that a number of investors have been waiting to buy on the dip, and today seemed like the best time to get in, in front of a possible rally depending on tomorrow's report.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both also closed the day higher by 0.85% and 0.66%, respectively. Now, let's take a look at a few of today's Dow winners.

Both of the Dow's telecommunications stocks performed well today. AT&T (NYSE: T  ) rose 1.56%, while Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) ended the day as the best-performing Dow component, as it increased by 3.46%. The circus has surrounded the industry, and more so Verizon today, as it was recently announced that the NSA has been collecting all phone records of Verizon's customers. Many have long suspected that this had been a common practice, but today, members of Congress confirmed that they knew about the practice. Further, while Verizon was the only company specifically mentioned in the article, the other telecoms also are likely turning over information. 

The Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) was also a big winner today, as the company's share price rose by 2.88%. The home improvement retailer has been on quite the roll lately. The stock price is up 24.92% year to date, and the company has been producing solid earnings results for a number of quarters now. As the housing market continues to slowly improve, Home Depot has placed itself in a position to greatly benefit, as individuals begin feeling home remodeling projects are a good investment in their homes, because prices are once again moving higher.

Pfizer (NYSE: PFE  ) was another big winner today, as shares rose 2.29% on the announcement that the company offered $25 million in upfront payments to CytomX, a small biotech firm. The first payment is small, but it will get CytomX working on the development of a cancer-fighting antibody therapy. If the small firm meets all the requirements and goals that Pfizer has laid out, it could make as much as $600 million in milestone payments. Also, if the treatment works, this will help Pfizer revive its diminishing pipeline of major blockbuster drugs. 

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