The Dow's Top Stocks This Week

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a tough week but Microsoft, Merck, and Procter & Gamble bucked the trend and ended the week on a high note.

Jan 25, 2014 at 1:00PM

It was a rough week on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) dropped 3.5% on declines every day of trading. Earnings reports have been solid but a report indicating that China's manufacturing sector might be slowing has spooked investors.

In reality, the market was probably just looking for a reason to correct lower after a strong run over the past year. The week's performance has left few bright spots, but there were some strong signs from a few of the Dow's better known components.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reported better-than-expected earnings, which led to its 1.2% rise this week. Xbox sales jumped from 5.9 million units a year ago to 7.4 million units after the Xbox One launch and Surface tablet sales doubled to $893 million. Net income was only up 3% to $6.56 billion, but devices sales helped push revenue 14% higher to $24.5 billion. Microsoft has gotten a lot of bad publicity because of falling PC sales and bad reviews of the Surface, but this is still a company that makes a ton of money and grows consistently quarter after quarter.

Merck (NYSE:MRK) was up a whopping three cents for the week and was one of only three companies in the green yesterday. On Friday, the FDA said the company's experimental drug for ragweed allergies doesn't have any major side effects, and investors are hoping the product will be approved soon. The Allergenic Products Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday to decide if more tests are needed, so keep an eye out for an announcement next week.

The third best stock on the Dow this week was Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), which fell 0.5%, showing what a bad week it was for the market overall. The stock was up yesterday after an earnings report that was more running in place at best. Sales rose slightly, and net income fell 16%, but results beat expectations and a 3% rise in organic sales show fundamental improvement. The consumer business is tough right now, and it appears that CEO A.G. Lafley's focus on a smaller number of core products is paying off. Don't expect a lot of growth out of P&G, but this is still a steady income stock for investors.

Stocks for now and forever
Weeks like this make it tough to watch the market, and they're one reason buy-and-hold investing is better for both your wallet and your stress level. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 

Fool contributor Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Procter & Gamble. The Motley Fool recommends Procter & Gamble and owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.

 


Compare Brokers