The stock market may not have done much today, but at least it wasn't a down day. After being down as much as 60 points earlier in the day, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) rallied to finish up by 6 points to 12,884.
But even though the Dow was largely flat, some stocks managed to do well. For instance, Bank of America finished as the Dow's leader, rising more than 3.5% as Bruce Berkowitz, named Fund Manager of the Decade by Morningstar, said he believed the stock was the best value play in the market.
Let's take a closer look at three other Dow stocks that saw their share prices rise on Wednesday.
United Technologies (NYS: UTX) , up 1.8%
At first glance, the news for United Technologies today didn't seem all that good. The company's CFO was quoted this morning as saying that "the first quarter is going to be tough." With high costs and poor demand among some of its market segments, United Technologies' stock initially had trouble getting traction.
But one piece of good news came when the company said that it would try to raise cash through selling some of its business units, rather than by issuing new stock. With its $16.4 billion purchase of Goodrich still pending, the company pulled back from initial estimates that United Technologies would take on $12 billion in debt and issue about $4 billion in new shares to pay for the acquisition. The resulting reduction in dilution probably helped push the stock higher and is good news for long-term investors as well.
Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) , up 1.8%
Tech stocks had a pretty strong day, but HP stood out from the crowd. The company's Envy Spectre 14 ultrabook went on sale today.
Ultrabooks are all the rage, but as Fool tech contributor Tim Beyers noted late last month, it remains to be seen whether they'll really prove to be a viable answer to Apple's (NAS: AAPL) domination in the tablet market. One thing is certain: HP shares are bargain-priced at just 9 times last year's earnings, and so any success on the ultrabook front can only help the stock.
JPMorgan Chase (NYS: JPM) , up 1.1%
Financials were broadly stronger today, but JPMorgan Chase got an interesting bit of news that could give it a competitive advantage. Reports surfaced today that Chrysler may be thinking about forming a partnership with a bank to set up a captive-finance business, whereby the venture can lend money to dealers to help them buy inventory and provide favorable loan terms for their customers.
Chrysler already has a preferred-lender arrangement with Ally Financial, but it covers only below-market loans, not standard loans. If JPMorgan can capture Chrysler's business, it could represent a coup for the Wall Street bank and also mark an important step in Chrysler's recovery from bankruptcy.
What will tomorrow bring?
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At the time thisarticle was published Fool contributorDan Caplingerlikes rising stocks -- except when he wants to buy them. You can follow him onTwitter. He doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, Apple, and Bank of America.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Apple and Morningstar and creating a bull call spread position in Apple. 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 Fool'sdisclosure policyis always a winner.
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