It wasn't an outstanding week for stock returns, but it was an important week from a psychological standpoint. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up just 0.82% for the week, but a nice pop on Friday gave the index its first close above 14,000 since 2007. We're now just 154.74 points from the all-time high close, something that's easily attainable in one good day. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was up 0.68% for the week to close above 1,500 for the second time in two weeks.
Leading the Dow this week were the two largest mobile carriers, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T). Both stocks were up 4.4% for the week. Late last week, Verizon agreed to sell some 700 MHz spectrum to AT&T in exchange for $1.9 billion and some AWS spectrum in the southwestern United States. This may be a little catch-up for the telecom providers, which both underperformed the broader market in January. Earnings last week clearly eased some fears that consumers were cutting back on wireless, as both companies reported strong smartphone sales and wireless results.
Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) was the third biggest winner on the Dow this week, climbing 4.1% after reporting earnings. The company's sales fell 6.8% to $16.1 billion in the quarter, and $1.46 in earnings per share missed estimates, but the company was upbeat about the future. Revenue is expected to be $60 billion to $68 billion next year, and earnings should be between $7 and $9 per share, which is in the range of what analysts expected.
The fear for Caterpillar was that results would continue to suffer in 2013, as dealers dealt with high inventory levels and the economy only slowly chugs along. That set a low bar for the company, so reasonably good guidance and strong economic data this week had the stock among the biggest movers on the Dow.