The Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) tendency to swing in hundred-point movements recently has kept the markets on its toes, but at least today's jump is in the right direction. The blue-chip index has shown investors nothing but green today, maintaining gains of more than 120 points as of 2:25 p.m. EDT.
Today's leap comes just days before the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting later this week, and Wall Street's eyes have been fixed on the actions of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Is today's movement all that meaningful? Let's check out what you need to know about the Dow's quick start to the week.
Forget the Fed fears
Numerous Wall Street analysts have kept a close eye on the Fed to judge whether or not quantitative easing's bond-buying pace will continue. While Bernanke has cautioned that slowing stimulus too soon could slow or stall the economy's rise, the dramatic swings of the market based on mere speculation over the fate of QE shouldn't shake your portfolio. Stimulus will have to end sometime, and while slowing down QE might take a percentage or two off the U.S.' economic growth, it won't kill the recovery -- or your stocks. Once again, the market's recent volatility is a case of irrational short-term fears captivating the headlines.
Keeping an eye on companies and stocks is what will benefit in the long run, and several big names are making moves today. Cisco's (NASDAQ: CSCO ) 2.3% gain is leading the Dow's run higher today. The company announced new core router technology last week as it plans to keep up with Internet traffic. The CRS-X, as Cisco dubbed the system, boasts up to 400 Gigabits of speed for every slot on the router's rack and it part of the foundation for what Cisco believes is the future -- a tomorrow where everything from cars to clothing is connected. It's an ambitious vision, but the CRS-X has already impressed some, and Cisco plans to release the technology for shipping at the end of this year.
Meanwhile, manufacturing and aerospace leaders are clustered at the Paris Air Show, where Boeing (NYSE: BA ) is trying to ride its recent upward momentum after its 787's grounding dominated the news earlier this year. Boeing shares are up 1.2% today after the company inked a deal with General Electric's aircraft leasing branch, GECAS, for 10 Boeing 787s. Boeing's leadership has expressed confidence in the aircraft's battery fix, and sales of the plane have begun to pick up.
United Technologies' (NYSE: UTX ) shares are up 1.3%, and this company is also hoping to strike it rich in Paris. UTC subsidiary Pratt & Whitney believes it will strike a new deal with the Pentagon to supply engines for the Department of Defense's new F-35 fighter in the next 30 days. Military jet-engine sales provide billions of dollars of revenue for Pratt & Whitney each year, and sales of F-35 engines alone could reach $2 billion annually in the coming years.
Boeing is a major player in a multitrillion-dollar market in which the opportunities are massive. However, emerging competitors and the company's execution problems have investors wondering whether Boeing will live up to its shareholder responsibilities. The Fool's premium research report on the company provides investors with the must-know info on Boeing. They'll be updating the report as key news hits, so don't miss out -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.