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.
The stock market closed the week on a positive note, as the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) finished Friday with a gain of 75 points, bringing its gains for the week to more than 450 points. After a horrible performance in August, stocks reacted well in anticipation of finally getting some answers to some key questions that have hung over the markets for months. Broader market measures weren't able to match the Dow's 3% weekly rise, but the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite, both climbed modestly today.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) managed to post the biggest gains of any Dow component today, ending with a 3.6% jump. Most of the attention today focused on an analyst upgrade of the stock, but most Intel shareholders were already familiar with the arguments that Jefferies made in supporting the stock's prospects. As Fool contributor Jason Hall noted earlier today, Intel's big edge against its rivals might come from integrating stronger security protections into its products, which will only become more important as cybersecurity threats continue to grow around the world.
Making yet another appearance among big Dow winners was Disney (NYSE: DIS ) , rising 1.8%. The move could be follow-through buying in response to the company's announcement yesterday that it would increase its stock buyback program to allow for purchases of about $6 billion to $8 billion in 2014. What's unfortunate is that Disney largely missed out on its best opportunity to buy back its shares back in 2009, when it repurchased just $138 million in stock. To its credit, though, the company has had buybacks in the $2.5 billion to $5 billion range annually since then, taking some advantage of the lower prices prior to Disney's recent run to all-time record highs.
Finally, Boeing (NYSE: BA ) climbed 1.4%. Not only could the next-generation 787-9 stretch Dreamliner get tested next week, but Boeing also earned a valuable split-decision from Lufthansa, as the airline chose to split an order of 50 aircraft between Boeing and rival Airbus. The best news from the deal is that it includes orders for Boeing's upgraded 777X, making Lufthansa its first customer for the upgrade. Despite the Dreamliner's challenges, Boeing has done a good job of boosting its presence within the industry, and giving aircraft-buyers the features they want to make their operations more efficient.
Boeing is just one of the many American companies benefiting from renewed economic growth domestically, but it's also in good position to benefit when many international markets recover. A recent Motley Fool report, "3 Strong Buys for a Global Economic Recovery," gives more details about Boeing and two other companies that could take off when the global economy gains steam. Click here to read the full report!