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It was another wild week on Wall Street, but while I'd usually follow up that statement with how the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) fluctuated massively during the week, that's be the case today. While the Dow had some big intraday moves, it closed never closed extremely higher or lower during the week. After the five previous trading sessions, the index closed the week higher by 79 points, or 0.51%, and now sits at 15,543.
But that doesn't mean investors didn't see quite the show over the past few days. The components themselves were the big movers this week, and they were heading in every direction they could.
Of the 30 Dow components, only 12 of them moved higher or lower by less than 1% this past week. That means 18 of the Dow's 30 stocks had moves greater than 1%. Of those 18, 14 had moves that amounted to more than a 2% change. Keep in mind that these moves all happened within the past five trading sessions.
Let's briefly look at a few of the biggest winners of the past week. Shares of Bank of America increased by 7.03%, while UnitedHealth Group increased by 5.07%, and DuPont rose 5.01%. Despite its problems two weeks ago, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) rose 4.99%, and General Electric (NYSE: GE ) increased by 4.04%.
For the most part, the big moves higher came from the big industrial stocks. As we've seen the economy turning the corner, Boeing and General Electric have both been telling investors that their businesses are improving, and now that we're moving deeper into earnings season, we're seeing that management has been telling the truth, and business is indeed improving for these companies.
This past week, one bright spot on GE's earnings report was an increase in the company's backlog, indicating that customers are ordering today and that increased revenues should be coming down the road. As for Boeing, the company has yet to announce earnings, but the stock rose on news that the fire two weeks ago in London on a 787 Dreamliner didn't come from the plane's battery system, which had caused the FAA to ground the aircraft earlier in the year.
The week's biggest losers came from tech, and the worst performer was easily Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) , which lost 11.97%. American Express came in next with a 5.45% drop, but the week's other notable big losers were companies tied up in the computing industry: Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) , down 4%, and Intel, down 3.59%. Microsoft's earnings report, mixed with Intel's, painted a terrible picture of the PC industry, revealing the toll that weak sales have taken.
HP seems to have been cut down in the crossfire, as Microsoft's poor Windows performance during the quarter and Intel's weak PC chip business apparently led investors to assume that it couldn't be performing all that well, either. While most would agree that Meg Whitman is doing a great job turning around the company, she may not be able to steady the ship before weak PC sales sink her progress and plans. Investors need to consider that a continuingly weakening PC industry may cause some serious problems for HP, even though we know Whitman is attempting in reducing the company's reliance on the PC.
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