Earnings season got under way this week, and investors are still seeing bullish signs in the tea leaves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.76%) rose 2.06% on the week, and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 2.47%) was up 2.29%. Alcoa's results were slightly better than expected, and when the Federal Reserve released minutes from its last meeting, the prevailing thought was that quantitative easing would continue well into 2014. So despite some weak employment data last week and disappointing retail sales, stocks were up, led by these three stocks.
Pfizer (PFE -0.15%) led the Dow, climbing 5.4% this week. U.S. regulators classified the company's cancer treatment palbociclib as a breakthrough therapy, a rarely used designation. The drug is in late-stage testing as a treatment for breast cancer, and there's growing hope that this could be the next hit for Pfizer. As we get closer to 2014, investors are also becoming less concerned that Obamacare rules will squeeze profits in the health-care industry, which has had a positive effect industry wide.
Home Depot (HD 1.87%) was up 5.1% this week after a sizzling move Friday. An analyst upgraded the stock yesterday, and former subsidiary HD Supply filed for an IPO. HD Supply is majority owned by private-equity investors, but Home Depot still owns 12% of the company, so it could cash out once the company is public.
Disney (DIS 3.51%) rounds out the top three after a 4.9% gain this week. The company announced the closure of LucasArts last week, and The Wall Street Journal said the company will cut another 150 jobs at its movie studios. The company is reviewing its operations and cutting what it views as fat in the organization. CEO Bob Iger definitely isn't resting on his laurels and is willing to make changes, even at a high price acquisition.