These Stocks Lifted the Dow Today

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Just a couple weeks after the fiscal cliff negotiations finally bore fruit, Washington has once again pushed its nose into Wall Street's business, this time with some opening salvos in what could become another contentious debate over the debt ceiling. With the President demanding a speedy increase and the Treasury Department ruling out such outlandish solutions as a trillion-dollar platinum coin and other dubious quick fixes, investors largely believe the U.S. won't default on its debt.

But that didn't stop lawmakers from taking the country to the brink of default the last time around, and that may have helped contribute to the broader stock market's losses today, even as the Dow Jones Industrials bucked the trend and finished up 19 points.

Within the Dow, Hewlett-Packard soared almost 5%. News that rival Dell may become the subject of a private equity bid helped boost HP's shares as well. Moreover, even as PC shipments fell again, HP took back the top spot in the industry from Lenovo, after having lost it during the third quarter. HP's gains have only made a small dent in the losses it suffered last year, but the stock has substantial momentum and could see further gains unless fundamental bad news emerges about the company.


Elsewhere, Sears Holdings picked up more than 9% after chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert invested about $13.5 million in Sears shares through open-market purchases. Despite the inherent confidence that a stock purchases shows, Sears hasn't demonstrated its ability to engineer a lasting turnaround in its retail business. The question may soon become whether Sears assets can fetch anything closer to their fair market value in an orderly liquidation, and today at least, investors seem to think the answer is yes.

Finally, Molycorp rose 3.5% in the latest of its volatile movements recently. With rare-earth metals prices having plunged, the big question for Molycorp is whether prices will recover in the near future, or whether a supply-hungry buyer may end up taking over the company to secure a more dependable source of the metals. Without action soon, Molycorp could sink under the weight of substantial debt and negative margins.

Stick with your winners
Finding winners is always smart, but consistently finding winners takes skill. Let Motley Fool Co-founder David Gardner lead you to revolutionary stock picks with his emphasis on companies with disruptive potential. David's Supernova service has all his secrets, and for a limited time, you can accept an invitation to get a personal tour of Supernova. Click here to get instant access.

The article These Stocks Lifted the Dow Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story

Want more news like this?

Sign up for Finance Report by AOL and get everything from business news to personal finance tips delivered directly to your inbox daily!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners