3 Dow Stocks That Surged This Week

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After "disappointing" GDP figures were posted Friday -- although I'm not too disappointed when America's struggling economy can post GDP growth of 2.8% -- the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) fell into negative territory for the week. Overall, the Dow fell back 0.47%.

However, with earnings season in overdrive -- 12 of the 30 Dow components reported earnings this week! -- there's bound to be some winners even if the overall market isn't jumping. Here are the Dow's three biggest winners from last week

Company

Earnings News Last Week?

Weekly Gain

Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) Smoked earnings estimates by 34%!5.34%
Bank of America (NYS: BAC) Nope. Reported on Jan. 19.3.11%
DuPont (NYS: DD) Beat expectations by $0.02, posting earnings of $0.35.2.63%

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Caterpillar had by far the best week. As I wrote in another article shortly after its earnings, the company's global success is beginning to show a rift between the "haves" of the Dow, companies with a strong global footprint that can find outsized growth, versus the "have-nots" like AT&T that are limited to America's middling economy. The good times are expected to keep rolling for Caterpillar, as the company projected another 25% of growth ahead of it in 2012.

Bank of America managed to pop 3.11% this week despite a 0.2% drop in the overall banking sector. Most of the gain came from Monday, when mortgage lenders proposed a $25 billion settlement that would overhaul foreclosure and mortgage servicing practices. The settlement would pay an average of $1,800 to homeowners who were improperly foreclosed upon, and a million homeowners could see reduced loans. While that's a large settlement, it removes a layer of uncertainty surrounding the banks. Citigroup (NYS: C) also surged on the news.

Finally we come to DuPont. Though the company saw earnings fall from last year, sales jumped 14% and the company pointed toward 12% earnings growth in 2012. One negative: Investors need to carefully watch DuPont's struggles in the Asia-Pacific market. While top performer Caterpillar saw a 49% sales jump in Asia, DuPont opined that a slowdown in the region reduced its Asian volumes 23%. With Cat planning double the growth of DuPont next year and trading for only a slight premium, I'd place my money behind the big cat over DuPont next year.

That's it for our checkup on this week's best Dow stocks. If you're looking for more great investing ideas, check out our new free report from the Fool that features a stock our chief investment officer liked so much he called it "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012" and created a special free report for investors to uncover this soon-to-be rock star. Thousands have already requested the report, which is free today, but it won't be forever, so access it now.

At the time this article was published Eric Bleeker owns shares of no companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Citigroup. 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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