Markets Move Higher Despite Little Economic Data

On a slow day in terms of economic reports, investors have certainly received a good bit of news from individual companies to keep themselves busy today. And despite any macro stimulant, as of this writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is still up 68 points, or 0.45%, and sits at 15,293. The S&P 500 is higher by 0.61%, while the Nasdaq is up more than 0.5% also today. There are currently only a handful of losers within the Dow, but a number of big winners. Let's take a look at a few of them.

Shares of Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) are up 2.21% this morning, and with that increase, the stock has now set a new 52-week high. The networking and communications device company announced yesterday that it would be teaming up with Microsoft to help accelerate its deployment of private and hybrid cloud infrastructure. Additionally, Cisco has recently made a number of acquisitions over the past few months to help increase its product offerings, and while these moves may not be showing up in the stock price today, they should help push it higher in the coming years.

Another Dow component moving higher is Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) , which has seen shares climb by 1.22% after the company announced its next quarterly dividend of $0.6015. The amount is the same as the last quarterly payment and will be payable on or after Aug.15, 2013, to shareholders on record as of July 19, 2013. Procter & Gamble has paid a dividend for the past 123 consecutive years and has increased it once a year for the past 57 years. Today's dividend announcement continues that amazing tradition of returning value back to its shareholders, a quality that has made P&G such a beloved stock among dividend investors.  

Big news outside the Dow came from Kroger  (NYSE: KR  ) , which made an offer to buy smaller grocery store chain Harris Teeter (UNKNOWN: HTSI.DL  ) . As my colleague Dan Caplinger pointed out earlier today, the deal is a little odd since Kroger only offered a 2% premium to what Harris Teeter was trading for yesterday. But shares of both companies are higher on the news: Kroger is up 2.65% while Harris Teeter has risen 1.44%. If Kroger can get the smaller chain for its offer price, I believe this would be a big win for the company and position it to better compete with the likes of Whole Foods while proving its dominance over Safeway.  

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