Sandwiched smack between the Christmas and New Year holidays, the past week was largely a sleeper. Volume for the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The Dow slid 0.6% for the week, while the broader Russell 3000 dropped 0.7%. Investors worked on a defensive posture in the final days of 2011, and equity-market safe haven sectors were the top performers.
Top 3 performing sectors
|Russell 3000 Sector||Weekly Price Change||Month-to-Date Price Change|
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Dec. 23-Dec. 30. Monthly price change is Nov. 30-Dec. 30.
Representing the lagging tech sector was MoSys
Also catching a serious tailwind during the week was oil and gas exploration company Endeavour International
Top 3 performing Russell 3000 companies
|Company||Weekly Price Change|
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Dec. 23-Dec. 30.
Also among the week's top performers were Diamond Foods
Diamond Foods, meanwhile, jumped nearly 14% after rumors swirled that investing icon David Einhorn had taken a stake in the company. The market has swatted around Diamond's stock ever since the company announced that it's investigating its accounting -- in particular, its payments to walnut growers. When a top investor like Einhorn jumps in on a beaten-down stock, the move tends to be followed by plenty of copycat investors. Blind copy-catting like that isn't a very Foolish way to invest, but if the Einhorn rumors are confirmed, there could be more upside for the stock.
That's it for this week's top-performers recap. If you're looking for some ideas for strong outperformers in the year ahead, The Motley Fool has created a brand new free report titled "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." In it, my fellow Fools reveal a top pick that's poised for explosive growth ahead. Get instant access -- it's free.
Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer has no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter, @KoppTheFool, or on Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.