The Dow's Top Stocks of the Week

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up early this week and United Health Group, Microsoft, and JPMorgan Chase led the way.

Mar 22, 2014 at 1:00PM

A relief rally on Monday masked a pretty slow week on Wall Street this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) gained 182 points Monday after Crimea voted to join Russia in a highly questioned referendum, but the vote didn't seem to spark fear of violence either within the region or from Western forces. Just the idea that conflict could be avoided with the world's No. 1 oil producer, Russia, was enough to get the market off on the right foot.

Stocks fluctuated the rest of the week and gained 1.48% in total. The Federal Reserve tapered its bond-buying program again to $55 billion per month, but there wasn't much in the way of market rattling news. But that doesn't mean we didn't have some big winners on the market this week.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) was the Dow's top stock, rising 7.5% for the week. There was further momentum of people signing up for health plans through "Obamacare," and there are even signs that it will increase profits for health insurance. First, a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that market share leaders before Obamacare are remaining market share leaders today. The winners on a state-by-state basis may shift slightly, but UnitedHealth Group and others don't look like they'll lose too many customers to smaller competitors.

From the profit side, WellPoint said this week that it's expecting profits to exceed $8.20 per share from previous guidance versus at least $8.00 per share in previous guidance. The addition of 1 million to 1.3 million net new customers was cited as a main reason for the higher profit. Maybe Obamacare can be good for insurers after all.  

Msft Xbox One Image

Microsoft also lowered the price of Xbox One Titanfall bundle $50 to $450 in response to Playstation 4. Image owned by The Motley Fool.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was the Dow's second best performer, gaining 6.5%. Rumors swirled earlier this week that new CEO Satya Nadella's first major move would be introducing Microsoft Office for the iPad, the world's most popular tablet. Office is a cash cow for Microsoft and the iPad is a huge opportunity, especially because Apple is now giving away its productivity software with new devices. The move would also signal a willingness to work with non-Microsoft products, which may be key as tablets and smartphones run on non-Microsoft software become more common.  

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) rounds out the top Dow stocks with a 5.9% jump this week. The company passed the Federal Reserve's latest stress test, indicating that it could continue to borrow in a deep recession, and announced the sale of its physical commodities business for $3.5 billion. The sale doesn't get the company out of commodities entirely, but it could ease pressure from regulators who think the largest commodity traders are manipulating the market.

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Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Apple and JPMorgan Chase. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, UnitedHealth Group, and WellPoint and owns shares of Apple, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, and WellPoint. 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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.

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