Like most of us, Congress returned to work today, and investors didn't appear to be all that happy about it. Everyone would like a quick resolution to issues like the fiscal cliff, but the slow turnings of government make it more likely that we'll have potential tax increases to worry about well into December. Regardless, with earnings season largely over, investors are likely to make markets drift aimlessly until some clarity asserts itself on economic, fiscal, and geopolitical uncertainties. The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) gave back 42 points after last week's strong performance.
A few Dow stocks managed to buck the trend, however. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) was the biggest gainer in the Dow, rising more than 2% to add to its recovery from last week's Autonomy debacle. With an investor class action lawsuit alleging HP's knowledge of Autonomy's misrepresentations, you can bet that it'll be months before the latest episode in HP's ongoing saga of difficulties fully plays itself out.
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) also posted a nice gain of more than 1%. Despite no huge news that appears responsible for the move, Cisco does appear to be bargain-priced. If the company can produce anything close to the growth it once managed as a smaller company, then its share price has plenty of room to run.
Finally, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) rebounded from recent losses to gain just less than 1%. Despite the company's rich dividend, Intel has worried investors who don't see how it can keep up with mobile chip advances from Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and other rivals. Unless Intel can get into mobile more quickly, it may never regain its leadership role as PC sales decline.