Money is returning to equity markets in a major way. Tuesday's gains brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) to rest 6.5% higher than it opened the year, and with only two days left of trading, January looks to be quite a profitable month for Wall Street. The Dow gained 72 points, or 0.52%, to close at 13,954 today.
Leading the blue-chip index higher was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), which added 3.2%. Pfizer forecast higher-than-expected profits for the coming year, and announced that it may consider splitting up the generic and branded parts of its business to create shareholder value. Telecom bellwether Verizon (NYSE:VZ) was the Dow's second-biggest gainer, adding 1.7%. On Tuesday the company announced that its network covered 94% of the "Philadelphia Tri-State Region" and 89% of the country. Current pricing of the shares has the annual dividend at an impressive 4.8%.
Elsewhere in the Dow, shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) were not so impressive, stumbling 3.2% as HP claimed its spot as the top blue-chip laggard of the day. HP was denied the right to depose a number of General Motors workers today by a Texas judge. HP suspects that the employees in question were wooed away from HP last month in an "exodus" of 18 people that may have violated non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), which has been gobbling up companies at an alarming pace, continued to satiate its appetite today by absorbing a Czech network security firm, Cognitive Security, for an undisclosed amount of money. Cisco's stock fell by 1.3% on news that it was contacted by the government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team for vague online safety reasons.
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