It was a fantastic week for markets overall, as news that the U.S. economy added more jobs than expected in January and lessened fears about financial catastrophe in Europe helped push the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) to its highest close since May 2008. Not to be outdone, the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) closed at its highest level in more than a decade, spurred by strong gains from technology stocks.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
While the three major indices clearly had a great week, some individual Dow companies fared even better. Bank of America (NYS: BAC) continued its remarkable run in 2012, finishing up 7.5% on the week. The company is now up more than 41% in just this year alone. Bank of America was one of the primary beneficiaries of the positive jobs report released Friday morning, which showed that the unemployment rate fell from 8.5% to 8.3%, a three-year low.
American Express was the Dow's second biggest gainer of the week, up 4.8%. The company has now advanced by a solid 10.8% in just over a month in 2012. United Technologies (NYS: UTX) was the week's third biggest gainer, finishing up 4.4%. The aerospace and defense conglomerate reported solid earnings last week, with profit jumping 10.8% in its fourth quarter. United Technologies was also pushed up by stellar earnings from Goodrich, the company that agreed to be acquired by United Technologies last year.
Outside the Dow, there were some even bigger winners. Zynga (NAS: ZNGA) finished the week up an incredible 40.6%, in large part because of Facebook's IPO filing on Wednesday. Facebook relies on Zynga, the maker of popular games such as Farmville and Words With Friends, for a whopping 12% of its revenue.
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At the time thisarticle was published Brendan Byrnes owns no shares of any company mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended creating a write covered strangle position in American Express. 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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