Why Intel Is Leading the Dow Today

The Dow Jones Industrial Average isn't going anywhere today, but Intel is another story.

Apr 3, 2014 at 3:30PM

Stock markets are moving sideways today, and with 30 minutes left in trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) sits at breakeven for the day.

Today's economic data showed that seasonally adjusted jobless claims rose 16,000 last week to 326,000, in the range we've been in for well over a year. The trade deficit also rose 7.7% in February to $42.3 billion, which economists worry could impact GDP growth.

But the bigger factor putting investors on edge is tomorrow's jobs report. Briefing.com forecasts that in March, the economy added 185,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate came to 6.6%. An hour before trading begins tomorrow morning, the Department of Labor will release last month's employment numbers, and that could drive trading for the day.

Intel leads the Dow today
There aren't many big movers on the Dow today, but one is Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), up 1.8% late in trading. The catalyst was an upgrade from analysts at Piper Jaffray, who upped the stock to an overweight rating.

Intc Wearable Image

Intel's growth hinges on wearable devices like this one. Image courtesy of Intel.

Stocks can often move up or down based on analyst predictions, but what investors should take notice of is the improving sentiment in the PC and mobile-device markets. The analyst projects that first-quarter notebook and direct-server shipments will show year over year declines, which is a positive in a struggling PC market.

The real upside at Intel is in mobile devices and an emerging number of wearables. Intel's 14 nanometer line of processors will come out later this year, and if it can gain any sort of traction in mobiles or wearables, it will mean pure upside for Intel in a market where it has trailed competitors by a wide margin.

With Intel trading at 14 times trailing earnings and paying a 3.5% dividend yield, I still think there's great value in the stock. Strong earnings power in existing businesses and over $20 billion in cash mean the downside for the stock is limited, and the upside is winning contracts for new products that will be launched in the next year.

In a market that looks overvalued in a lot of ways, Intel provides good upside potential with value that traditional investors should love.

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Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Intel. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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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