The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) ended a phenomenal quarter yesterday, gaining 994 points, or 8.1% over the past three months. U.S. stocks also had a solid week, with all three major indices finishing the week in the black, helped up by some fairly upbeat reports on the state of the economy and encouraging signs from Europe. The Dow was able to end the week up 131 points, or 1%.
But there were three stocks in particular that solidly outperformed the Dow this week.
Pfizer hit a four-year high this week, after a Goldman Sachs note to investors saying CEO Ian Read indicated that the company may be willing to split up even further. Goldman analyst Jami Rubin wrote in the note that the company is looking at "strategic alternatives" for its animal health and nutrition businesses. "If the pipeline is successful and drives meaningful top-line growth, management will want to separate the businesses so investors can better value the pharma business," Rubin wrote. Clearly, investors are excited about the possibility of a full-scale breakup a la Abbott Laboratories.
Cisco finished the week up around 3% and is now up nearly 17% on the year. The company announced plans to acquire ClearAccess, a private company that makes software for Internet service providers. Cisco said that ClearAccess' software will help service providers manage mobile and residential devices and will use Cisco's existing network to allow customers to manage their networks across a wide range of devices. Finally, Coca-Cola climbed steadily in the past three days to finish the week up 3.5%. The company will be looking to keep its momentum into next week after slightly underperforming the Dow so far this year, rising 6% versus the Dow's 8%.
Outside the Dow, one of the companies making the most headlines this week was Research In Motion (NAS: RIMM) . RIM reported earnings Thursday afternoon and missed on both revenue and profit. Taking out one-time items, sales dropped a whopping 25%, the company's first revenue decline in seven years. RIM also announced that it will stop giving guidance, an ominous sign for the company's future. Still, the stock ended the week up more than 7%, after candid remarks from the company's new CEO, Thorsten Heins, garnered praise from analysts and led many to wonder whether the company could be an acquisition target of tech giants Microsoft or Amazon.com, among others.
The big picture
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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 Coca-Cola, Amazon.com, Abbott Laboratories, Microsoft, and Cisco Systems.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Abbott Laboratories, Amazon.com and Pfizer and creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.