The Dow's Big Winners Today

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

After the Nasdaq halted trading for a few hours and we were treated to a few mediocre economic data points, the major indexes all managed to close higher today. And because of today's move, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) managed to break its six-day losing streak as it posted a gain of 66 points, or 0.44%, and now sits at 14,963. The S&P 500 rose higher by 0.86% and despite being closed for more than two-and-a-half hours, the Nasdaq still beat the other two indexes and jumped by a strong 1.08%.

Let's take a quick look at a few of the Dow's big winners that helped move the index into the black this afternoon.

Shares of Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) rose 1.18% today. The company has had a good week, as no issues have been raised with its 787 Dreamliner --  which seems to have a new problem nearly once a week during 2013. Not only has the company not experienced any Dreamliner problems, but it has also received a number of upgrades over the past few days and could possibly receive a $10 billion contract sometime in September. News that the German airline Lufthansa is expected to announce an order for 50 wide-body jets sometime in mid-September broke this afternoon. Those familiar with the matter said that the whole order could go to either Boeing or Airbus or it could be split between the two companies. The airline will replace the 22 Boeing 747s and more than 20 Airbus A340s that it plans to retire.  

Despite experiencing the temporary blackout of trading, shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) rose 2.47%, making it once again the top stock of the day. The stock received an upgrade from Nomura today and after being removed from the firms buy list back in April, it has been once again restored to a buy rating. The firm's reason for the change wasn't necessarily because the analyst believes the fundamentals of Big Softy's business are improving but that an activist investor may begin pushing for changes within the company. ValueAct, a San Francisco hedge fund run by Jeffery Ubben, has a 0.7% stake in the company and although Ubben has been quiet thus far about Microsoft, the Nomura analyst doesn't believe that will be the case for much longer. Ubben often fights for change at companies he holds a stake in and Rick Sherlund, the Nomura analyst, believes that Ubben will be able to gain support from other shareholders who have been disappointed with Microsoft's stock performance over the past few years.  

Shares of both Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) increased by more than 1% -- 1.6% and 1.12%, respectively, to be exact. These moves came higher despite all the problems the banks are having with regulators and the report today that Moody's may cut the ratings on at least four of the six largest U.S. banks. Moody's Investors Service is currently reviewing Bank of America and Citigroup with the direction of their ratings unknown at this time, but is considering downgrading the debt ratings of JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs because it believes that the government may be more reserved about ensuring the financial institutions' survival if we were to go through another crisis.  

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