It was a positive week on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) climbing every day but one. By the end of the week the index was up 1.27% with 26 of 30 components finding their way into positive territory. Federal Reserve Chairman nominee Janet Yellen testified before Congress on her way to a potential confirmation vote next week. Yellen is widely expected to keep the easy money policies of Ben Bernanke in place, something investors have been cheering all year.
While most of the Dow Jones Industrial Average's components were up, Home Depot (NYSE:HD) was the leader with a 6% gain this week. The company reports earnings on Tuesday and may be one of the only bright spots in retail right now. While companies such as Wal-Mart and Target are fighting with online retailers for consumer dollars, Home Depot offers a lot of goods that can't be replaced with online sales. That combined with a steadily improving housing market has made the stock more attractive to investors this year and the stock is up 31% as a result.
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) was up 2.8% this week after announcing management changes. Vice Chairman Dimitri Panayotopoulos, Chief Technology Officer Bruce Brown, and Chief Customer Officer Robert L. Fregolle Jr. all announced their retirements in the next year, continuing a shakeup that had CEO Robert McDonald leave earlier this year. P&G has become a slow growth company, which isn't surprising given its sheer size, but new leaders at the top may help invigorate growth.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) rounds out the top three stocks on the Dow, gaining 2.8% this week. The stock is up 33% so far this year, which is surprising given its long-term challenges. Blockbuster drugs are both more expensive and harder to come by and with health care cost growth slowing the pie Pfizer and other drug makers are fighting over isn't what it once was. The potential good news is that Obamacare's health insurance requirements could bring millions of new customers into the health care market. Investors shouldn't set their sights too high for Pfizer's growth, one reason that despite the stock's move this year I'm not buying into the hype.