The Big Blue Engine Is Pulling the Dow Higher

When Big Blue gets funky, the entire Dow starts to dance.

Anders Bylund
Anders Bylund
Sep 21, 2012 at 2:00PM
Technology and Telecom

There's a big, blue engine pulling the Dow (DJINDICES:^DJI) train up the hill today.

No, it's not Thomas the Tank Engine, or even The Little Engine That Could. I'm talking about International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM).

Shares of IBM gained 0.7% this morning as sector rival Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) reported a strong quarter. The bottom isn't falling out of enterprise computing, even if the PC is gasping for its final breath.

IBM's move added 11 points to the Dow. Big Blue's percentage move may have lagged the 1.4% jump AT&T (NYSE:T) made on another round of fantastic interest in the iPhone 5, as well as the 1.2% gain scored by Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) as its ESPN subsidiary explores new online revenue streams. But IBM simply carries more weight in this index.

The computing giant's price accounts for 11.8% of the Dow's total value, while Disney and Ma Bell stand for just 3% and 2.2%, respectively. So when IBM shakes its groove thing, the entire Dow seems to dance.

IBM's management has a transparent and shareholder-friendly agenda. The company publishes a long-term business plan for all to see and returns oodles of cash to its owners in the form of buybacks and dividends. But that's not quite enough to impress our analysts. The Fool has identified the top three Dow dividends in a special report, and IBM isn't on the list. Find out who beats Big Blue and how they did it by downloading the report, totally free for a limited time.