When the closing bell rang this afternoon, all but two of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJINDICES:^DJI) 30 components were in the green. The Dow itself closed higher by 99.22 points, or 0.71%, and now sits at 13,979. The other two major indexes also finished higher, as the S&P 500 gained 1.04%, or 15.58 points, while the Nasdaq added 40.41 points, or 1.29%.
When the Dow fell yesterday by more than 100 points, that may have sparked some investors to buy, ultimately causing today's rally. Over the past few years, a number of calls have been made indicating that the other shoe was about to drop, and every time thus far, those calls have been wrong. The markets as a whole just continue to increase, and every little move lower looks like a great buying opportunity.
Let's look at some of the Dow stocks that got positive news today, adding buying pressure and making them the index's top stocks of the day.
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) received an upgrade from Goldman Sachs today. The rating change from "neutral" to "buy" sent shares up 3.62%, making it the best-performing Dow component of the day. Goldman believes the insurer is one of the best in the industry in execution, products, and technology. The company also increased its price target from $57 per share to $66 based on a solid outlook for the remainder of 2013 and a belief that earnings will grow in 2014.
Shares of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) moved higher after Bruce Berkowitz, the founder of Fairholme Capital Management, gave a strong recommendation for the stock. Because his fund already owns a large portion of the stock, he currently can't buy more, but he recently said he wished he could. He believes he could quadruple his money in the stock if the industry returns to historical norms. Bank of America's stock gained 3.48%, making it the second best performing Dow component today.
Finally, Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) ended the day higher by 2.66% after rumors spread that the company's board of directors was thinking about breaking up the company as a way to maximize shareholder value. The report indicates that this is just one scenario being discussed, and no decisions have been made. For now, these reports seem to be just rumors, and long-term investors shouldn't base their investing thesis on this sort of information.