It took more than five years, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) finally made up all the ground it lost in the financial crisis, surging to close at an all-time high today. China's announcement that it will maintain its 7.5% GDP growth goal eased Wall Street concerns about the global economy, sending the Dow 125 points, or about 0.9%, higher to close at 14,253.
Networking technology powerhouse Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) added 2.3% to lead the Dow today. It seems merely being a tech stock was good enough for investors to bid up shares today, as the sector enjoyed a strong day across the board. Now up more than 10% in the past three months, the stock is enjoying a nice rally that could continue as corporations reinvest their record profits.
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), one of only two stocks to lose ground in the index today, was the weakest-performing blue chip, falling 0.4%. With an annual dividend approaching 3% and a mature, globally recognized brand, Coke doesn't exactly have explosive growth prospects, which may have hurt shares today as investors embraced riskier options.
After being upgraded today by research firm Needham from a hold to a buy rating, shares of Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), up as much as 7.8% early in the day, closed with 1% losses. The volatile day comes after the 3-D printing company announced a blowout quarter Monday, exceeding sales and earnings expectations. With the stock having already risen more than 7% yesterday, shareholders may have realized they were going a little nuts over the results, selling off after the stock reached its euphoric morning high.
Though not in the Dow, Sears Holdings (NASDAQOTH:SHLDQ) was a bright spot in the broader market, as the stock jumped 5.6%. The news rallying the retailer came from a regulatory filing released yesterday that showed Chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert purchased $55 million worth of Sears stock recently, a direct vote of confidence. It's never a bad thing for investors when management puts its money where its mouth is, aligning incentives with those of shareholders.