Why the Dow Ended at Five-Year Highs Today

Money is returning to equity markets in a major way. Tuesday's gains brought the Dow Jones Industrial Average to rest 6.5% higher than it opened the year, and with only two days left of trading, January looks to be quite a profitable month for Wall Street. The Dow gained 72 points, or 0.52%, to close at 13,954 today.

Leading the blue-chip index higher was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer , which added 3.2%. Pfizer forecast higher-than-expected profits for the coming year, and announced that it may consider splitting up the generic and branded parts of its business to create shareholder value. Telecom bellwether Verizon was the Dow's second-biggest gainer, adding 1.7%. On Tuesday the company announced that its network covered 94% of the "Philadelphia Tri-State Region" and 89% of the country. Current pricing of the shares has the annual dividend at an impressive 4.8%. 

Elsewhere in the Dow, shares of Hewlett-Packard were not so impressive, stumbling 3.2% as HP claimed its spot as the top blue-chip laggard of the day. HP was denied the right to depose a number of General Motors workers today by a Texas judge. HP suspects that the employees in question were wooed away from HP last month in an "exodus" of 18 people that may have violated non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements. 

Cisco Systems , which has been gobbling up companies at an alarming pace, continued to satiate its appetite today by absorbing a Czech network security firm, Cognitive Security, for an undisclosed amount of money. Cisco's stock fell by 1.3% on news that it was contacted by the government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team for vague online safety reasons

Once a high-flying tech darling, Cisco is now on the radar of value-oriented dividend lovers. Get the lowdown on the routing juggernaut in The Motley Fool's premium report. Our report also has you covered with a full year of free analyst updates to keep you informed as its story changes, so click here now to read more.

The article Why the Dow Ended at Five-Year Highs Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.The Motley Fool recommends Cisco Systems and General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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