The Dow's Easing Into Turkey Day


It's one day before Thanksgiving, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) seems to have already hit the tryptophan. The index has held small, sleepy gains for the entire day and as of 2 p.m. EST is up a session high of 54 points. Most Dow members are in the green, but only a few are showing interesting activity, with just six stocks moving more than 1% in either direction. Tech's having a good day, but with the turkey and football (not to mention retail bonanza) right around the corner, the Dow's on pace for an easy ride to the finish line.

Ups and downs
The tech sector has led markets higher today, with particularly good news coming from Salesforce (NYS: CRM) . The cloud software company would have beat earnings estimates if one-time items were excluded, and its subscription sales rose by an annualized 35%. The positive report sent shares up by more than 7.5%, and the rest of the sector joined them for the ride.

Hewlett-Packard (NYS: HPQ) and Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) currently lead all Dow stocks higher with gains of 2.5% and 1.1%, respectively. HP is bouncing back today after the $9 billion writedown of its Autonomy acquisition nuked its shares. It's been a tough 2012 for HP overall, and the stock is down 55% year to date. With the PC market in decline, the company will have to turn things around to have a better 2013.

Fellow Dow tech stock Intel (NAS: INTC) isn't sharing in the sector's gains, however. Still dealing with the fallout of the announcement that its CEO will step down next May, Intel shares have lost 0.6% so far to lead all Dow laggards lower. The chip maker is also struggling with the declining PC market as rival semiconductor companies gain traction in the growing mobile industry.

Outside of tech, industrials are having a good day on renewed optimism that Congress will broker a deal to solve the impending fiscal cliff. Both Boeing (NYS: BA) and United Technologies (NYS: UTX) rank among the top Dow leaders with gains of 1.1% and 1.4%, respectively. Once again, there's an exception: DuPont (NYS: DD) , which has seen shares lose more than 14% over the past month, continues to sink. The stock is down 0.7% today.

Get ready for holiday season
It might be a sleepy market on the last trading day before the holiday season kicks off, but now's the time to pay extra-close attention. Between the coming month of retail frenzy, the continued mess in Europe, and the deadline for the fiscal cliff ticking closer each day, it's going to be a wild ride into 2013.

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