The Dow's 3 Biggest Winners Today

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Traders trudged back into the office on Tuesday and left the Dow Jones (INDEX: ^DJI) pretty much where it started the day. The Dow lost 2.65 points, a meager 0.02% drop amid low volume. With all the investing masters of the universe taking the week off to sit at home polishing the new wingtip shoes they got for Christmas, maybe we'll have to wait another week for the crazy up-and-down volatility that's defined the market this year to return.

Winners of the Dow
However, even if the broader market was a snoozer today, there was plenty of action amid individual companies. Looking at the Dow components, financials dragged down the index while tech saw unspectacular yet consistent gains. The top two performers in the Dow were Cisco (NAS: CSCO) and Intel (NAS: INTC) , which saw gains of 0.62% and 0.66%. That optimism can be traced to several analysts penning optimistic notes about semiconductor and data center spending in 2012. Finally, AT&T (NYS: T) rose 0.55% on the day, which was good enough to be the third largest gain on the Dow. Even with today's bump, though, AT&T still trails its telecom peer in the Dow, Verizon, by nearly 10 percentage points for the year.

A revolt in Waterloo?
Looking past the Dow, one of the most actively traded stocks today was Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) . Since nothing good ever happens to RIM anymore, it's no surprise that the gains weren't the result of any positive news surrounding the company but instead the result of a Wall Street Journal article discussing pressure on the company's independent board members to exert control and either sell the company or oust the ineffective co-chairmen currently in charge.

Other big winners
Another company seeing major price movements was HomeAway (NAS: AWAY) . The home-rental company was up 11.2% on the day. HomeAway's post-IPO lock-up was slated to expire on Dec. 26, which seems to be the most material news on the day. Often, companies see their share price plummet at the end of lock-up periods as a large group of shares flood the market. However, with HomeAway's share price having cratered throughout the latter half of the year, maybe the opposite effect was seen today, with insiders who still believe in the company using the lock-up expiration to load up on shares.

One idea for the year ahead
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At the time this article was published Eric Bleeker owns shares of Cisco. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cisco Systems and Intel, has created a bull call spread position on Cisco Systems, and has bought calls on Intel.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Intel, Cisco Systems, and HomeAway and creating a bull call spread position in Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.

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