So far, 2012 has been a swell year for investors, as stocks have taken off. Over the past week, we saw markets cheering a proposal by the International Monetary Fund to raise $600 billion in new funds to help it address the eurozone debt crisis. Strong earnings results from financial companies such as Goldman Sachs and Bank of America as well as tech bellwethers like IBM and Intel also helped drive stocks forward.
For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Top 3 Performing Sectors
|Russell 3000 Sector||Weekly Price Change||Month-to-Date Price Change|
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Jan. 13-Jan. 20. Monthly price change is Dec. 30-Jan. 20.
Before I even write this, let me emphasize that it is not a typo. Sears Holdings
So what turned it all around this week? First of all, CIT is reportedly resuming financing for Sears' vendors. Maybe more importantly, though, there was some pretty serious speculation that the two investors who already own most of the company -- Eddie Lampert and Bruce Berkowitz -- may buy out the whole darn thing and take the company private.
Representing the energy sector among the top performers was oil and natural gas explorer Venoco
Top 3 Performing Russell 3000 Companies
Weekly Price Change
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Weekly price change is Jan. 13-Jan. 20. Includes only companies with a market cap of $250 million or higher.
Also among the week's top performers were Cree
Skyworks, meanwhile, snagged its 21% weekly gain the old-fashioned way -- it topped analyst estimates on both the top and bottom line. And, of course, like Cree, it was riding the semiconductor-focused investor feeding frenzy during the week.
That's it for this week's top-performers recap. If you're looking for some ideas for strong outperformers in the new year, 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.
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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Bank of America and Intel but has no financial interest in any of the other 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.