The markets soared higher today, with investors receiving good news on the housing market and some observers hoping that the country will avoid the fiscal cliff. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) gained 207 points, or 1.65%, for the day and currently sits at 12,795. Other indexes also had a good day, the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) ended the day up 27 points, or 1.99%, while the Nasdaq (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) closed up 62 points, or 2.21%.

Not a single Dow stock ended the day in the red, but a few were beaten by the index itself. While the Dow climbed 1.65% today, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) moved higher by just 0.3%, shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) increased by only 0.09%, and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shareholders saw their stock rise by a mere 0.78%.

So why did they get left behind?
This morning, news broke that Intel CEO Paul Otellini will retire in May, after eight years at the helm. I mentioned earlier today that Intel is the second worst-performing Dow component this year, but whether that has anything to do with Otellini's departure is unknown. What is known is that Intel missed the move to mobile and the company has watched other chip manufactures build dominant market share positions in the smartphone and tablet industries, similar to what Intel holds in the PC world. And Intel knows that once you have it, it's hard for others to take it away.

Although Johnson & Johnson moved higher today, on a percentage basis, today it was the worst-performing Dow stock. Investors are still dealing with the news that Warren Buffett has sold off nearly his entire position in the company. This may have been a sign to other value investors that the time to get out is now and that to potentially new investors, it's not the time to buy.

Lastly, Microsoft caught only a part of the rally today. A recent report states that while Windows 8 is selling, it may not be performing as well as Windows 7 did at this time. One analyst following the company reported that 6% of the retailers he checked with said PC sales missed expectations this past week. The same check was performed in 2009 three weeks after Windows 7 was released, and not a signal retailer stated missed sales numbers. In 2009, 48% said they beat estimates, and now only 20% reported higher-than-expected numbers.  

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