3 Stocks Driving the Dow Up Today

The Dow (INDEX: ^DJI) is up 0.5% today after several tech giants -- IBM (NYS: IBM) , Intel (NAS: INTC) , and Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) -- reported strong earnings last night.


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So what's the big news from these tech biggies?

IBM reported 11% growth in its earnings per share and suggested a positive outlook for 2012. Operating margins were especially strong, spiking to 24.9% from 20.2% last quarter, or 24.3% in the fourth quarter last year.

Intel's sales grew a whopping 21% in the fourth quarter. The rise of mobile devices, which aren't Intel's wheelhouse, has been a major concern for investors. But Intel's earnings results should remind us that PC sales continue to flourish in emerging economies.

Microsoft's margins are continuing to take hits, but the tech giant reported a decent 5% growth in sales and a more modest earnings increase. Xbox and CRM saw impressive numbers, and Microsoft looks to be playing the long game in search, as Bing's market share climbed to 15.1%.

Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) is also up big today. With its stock trading at just eight times earnings, it doesn't take much to move it. HP posted sales declines in emerging economies last quarter, and the strong numbers coming out of PC-related companies could be a positive sign for the troubled PC maker.

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At the time thisarticle was published Ilan Moscovitz doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, Microsoft, and International Business Machines. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Microsoft and Intel, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. 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.

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