In less than a month, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) have climbed by nearly 800 points, sparking sharp debate over whether the market has climbed too far too fast or is merely making up for lost time as ordinary investors finally start to get back into stocks. So with that extremely strong performance as background, it's not all that surprising to see the Dow take a break after its huge run, giving back 14 points today.
Within the Dow, Caterpillar was the biggest gainer, rising almost 2% on a short-term earnings beat despite giving guidance that was less than enthusiastically positive. But also gaining on the day was General Electric (NYSE:GE), which climbed almost 1%. GE is emerging as a potential competitor to Caterpillar as it jumps into the mining equipment business, and with today's boost in durable goods sales, GE's return to its roots as an industrial powerhouse has led to some very happy shareholders over the past four years.
Elsewhere, Youku Tudou (UNKNOWN:YOKU.DL) jumped almost 7% when Deutsche Bank initiated coverage of the Chinese provider of online video with a buy rating. The call pushed the stock to its highest levels since the middle of last year, but the real push higher could come if the Chinese economy truly starts to rebound in earnest during 2013.
Finally, Waste Management (NYSE:WM) climbed 2% after having been up much more strongly earlier in the day. Reports that it and rival Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) could consider converting to become real estate investment trusts led to interest in the stock, as the favorable tax status would potentially boost profits by eliminating a level of corporate taxation. But Waste Management later said that it had no plans to become a REIT. With investors looking for income wherever they can get it, shareholders will apparently have to be content with Waste Management's healthy 4% dividend yield.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Republic Services and Waste Management. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric and Waste Management. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.