Slowly but surely, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) crept higher this week, ending the week up 1.11%. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.2%, construction spending rose a higher-than-expected 0.6% in August, and durable-goods orders rose 3.7%, giving investors just enough confidence to keep the market moving higher. It doesn't hurt that high-profile earnings reports from Microsoft, Amazon.com, and Netflix were better than expected, giving bulls another reason to run higher.
On the Dow Jones Industrial Average, it was Boeing (NYSE:BA) tht led the way with a 7.1% gain this week. Korean Air agreed to buy $3.7 billion of aircraft to upgrade its fleet, reports have Chinese customers committing to $20.7 billion of 737 Max orders, and Boeing agreed to team up with Lockheed Martin to bid for a new long-range bomber for the U.S. Air Force. The military bid would reportedly be for around 100 bombers, with price tags of around $550 million each. Boeing would be the primary contractor, with Lockheed Martin as the primary subcontractor.
DuPont (NYSE:DD) was the second best performer on the Dow, with a 3.8% gain this week. The chemical and seed maker has struggled growing over the past year, but it finally showed growth on both the top and bottom line. Revenue rose 5% to $7.8 billion, and net income was $285 million. After one-time items were taken out, earnings per share were $0.45, four cents ahead of estimates. DuPont is also looking at strategic alternatives for its performance chemicals business, including a possible spinoff. This isn't a growth stock by any means, but investors looking for a steady dividend should feel a little better about their investment after last quarter's results.
Disney (NYSE:DIS) rounds out the top three with a 3.1% jump this week. The home of Mickey Mouse announced that it will open a 53,000-square-foot Disney Store in China in early 2015, just in time for the opening of a theme park in Mainland China. Theme parks may not get a lot of attention from investors, but they're really what makes Disney so profitable, and their growth is key to the business' acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Most studios make money on the box office, video sales, and maybe some TV showings, but Disney owns both media networks and theme parks that get great usage out of the company's characters. The future of the box office and cable TV may be in question, but the desire to have great content is certain, and that's where Disney stands head and shoulders above the competition. Theme parks just make that content more profitable than anyone else can.
Fool contributor Travis Hoium owns shares of Microsoft and is short shares of Amazon.com. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Netflix, and Walt Disney and owns shares of Amazon.com, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Netflix, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.