The Dow Jones Industrials Average (INDEX: ^DJI) has been teasing investors for about two weeks now with the possibility of closing above 13,000. Despite some flirtations with the psychological threshold, and even some brief breakthroughs, the index kept falling back below the mark.
But not today. The bulls managed to shake the bears on strong consumer-confidence data and rallied the index for a late-session push to 13,005.
Here is a look at how the three major indices fared.
Gain / Loss
Gain / Loss %
Dow Jones Industrial Average
A big push like that is all about a collective effort, but three companies stood out as doing most of the heavy lifting today.
Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) led the charge with a 1.66% gain, bringing the company's year-to-date performance to an impressive 22.8% -- one of the Dow's highest. Today's movement was probably fueled by anticipation for the company's Windows 8, which is being showcased tomorrow at the Mobile World Congress. The choice of venues underscores one of the biggest shifts for Windows 8, which is a step toward integrating tablets and PCs -- much like how Apple (NAS: AAPL) has begun to do with its iCloud service and increasing similarities between operating systems. Microsoft is betting the farm on the new product, and it'll have to if it expects to curb the growth of the juggernaut from Cupertino.
Another tech Dow stock putting up big growth today is Intel (NAS: INTC) . Much like Microsoft, Intel has been late to the mobile game, but it's making a renewed push into the industry. The company is also probably getting a boost in anticipation of the Mobile World Congress tomorrow.
The third biggest Dow gainer of the day was year-to-date market laggard Johnson & Johnson (NYS: JNJ) . The company has been plagued with recent recalls, which were a major impetus behind Warren Buffett's decision to reduce his position in the health-care giant. Investors can only hope that management has seen the light and will turn the quality-control ship around.
Looking past today
Watching the market pop and drop each day can be exciting, but it's also hazardous to your health. Here at The Motley Fool, we advocate for buying and holding great companies for the long term. If you're in the mood to pick up an incredible growth story that Wall Street hasn't tuned into yet, I invite you to read our special free report, "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2012." In it we reveal a stock with some of the biggest growth potential I've ever seen. Grab your free copy today before it's gone.
At the time thisarticle was published Austin Smith owns no share of the companies mentioned here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Apple, and Intel.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Johnson & Johnson, Intel, Apple, and Microsoft, creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson, and creating bull call spread positions in Microsoft and 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 Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.