3 Stocks That Led the Dow Higher This Week

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had another good week and AT&T, Travelers, and Visa were a big reason why.

May 3, 2014 at 1:00PM

It was another solid week on Wall Street, as stock indices bumped up against record highs once again. If you were looking for a big improvement in economic data, the week may have been a disappointment, but there was further data showing a slow and steady recovery. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) didn't hit a record high this week, but it did move up 0.93% as 20 of 30 components moved higher this week.

On the economic front, Friday's jobs report from the Department of Labor showed that 288,000 jobs were added to the economy last month and the unemployment rate fell to 6.3%. There can be arguments made that any given monthly unemployment rate is skewed, but the general trend of more jobs and fewer unemployed workers continued. The Federal Reserve was even positive enough about the economy to cut its bond-buying program by $10 billion to $45 billion per month.

The week's leading stocks
There were a few big movers on the Dow this week, and AT&T (NYSE:T) led the way, climbing 3.3%. Rumors swirled that the wireless giant is interested in buying DirecTV, which would add another 20 million customers to its subscriber list. AT&T has explored a number of deals this year, but this one would bring a complimentary business and technology to the company. I like the idea for AT&T and think it would be good strategically to expand content delivery systems further. It'll take time to see if a deal is worked out and if it could pass regulatory muster, so look for this to be a news item for some time.  

Travelers (NYSE:TRV) was the second best stock on the Dow this week, rising 3%. The stock's strong run after earnings continues, as the company's strategy execution continues to be strong. Net income was up 17% last quarter to 17%, and premiums written rose 5% despite higher pricing. A higher-interest-rate environment should also help investment returns, which are the bread and butter for insurance companies. This is a well run company, and in a market of high-priced, stocks that's what investors are looking for now.  

Rounding out the top three is Visa (NYSE:V), which was up 2.8% for the week. This was a reversal of last week, when Visa was one of the Dow's laggards after weaker-than-expected earnings. Expectations are high for Visa, and even an estimated growth rate of 10%-11% wasn't enough to impress investors last week. But keep in mind that this is a steady business with extremely high margins and a large competitive moat. Those kind of businesses are rare, and long-term that gives Visa a lot of earnings power and growth potential. The stock may be volatile, but in the long term, this is one that I think is a cornerstone of any portfolio.

3 picks for long-term investors
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Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of AT&T and Visa. The Motley Fool recommends DirecTV and Visa and owns shares of Visa. 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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