Dow's Continues to Reach Higher; Is the Sky the Limit?


Now that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has broken the 14,300 barrier, the question is: Where will it stop? As investors flood back into the market on the strength of the Dow, it's up to the index's components to keep it afloat -- and so far, so good. Yesterday was the day for tech stocks, and today a new leading sector is taking shape: financials.

Next week will be a big one for the nation's banks. The Federal Reserve will be releasing the results of its "stress tests," and the passing banks are sure to make big gains following the results. In the days leading up to next Thursday's announcement, many of the banks are already seeing a boost from investors who want to get in before the crowd.

Bank of America , the most closely watch bank there is, has had a big influx in the past few days, as analysts believe it will pass the tests with flying colors. Because the results of the test will most likely effect B of A the most in terms of the bank's standing with investors and ability to raise its dividend, you should expect to see the bank's stock jump if the news next Thursday is positive. Shortly after noon, Bank of America is up 2.3%, though there hasn't been a lot of news to boost the stock prior to next week's events. But with the stock's volume way above average, it has a huge amount of volatility and can swing lower at a moment's notice.

JPMorgan is also up big today, gaining 1.4% to help the Dow see new heights. JPMorgan was one of the only banks to make it through the financial crisis largely unscathed. And though it has had its hiccups since then (London Whale, anyone?), it is expected to pass the Fed's stress test. Over the past year, the bank has been working to expand its presence in China and is now beginning to hire new employees for its operations there. JPMorgan's Chinese investment bank is seeing greater demand for bond sales and investments in the country, even as China's economic growth continues to slow.

Outside of the Dow, insurance giant AIG is on the rise this morning. Up 1.7%, the insurer is seeing a continued rebound during the first few months of 2013. Recently named the new hedge-fund darling, AIG is enjoying more face time with average investors, who are largely still wary of the firm's stock. But with big investing names behind it, there is little doubt that Main Street will soon follow Wall Street. AIG has also been making strategic moves in China, including an expansion of its joint venture with the PICC Group, and it's seeing increased demand for various insurance products from the country's growing middle class.

Flying higher
The one stock that's going gangbusters today does not reside in the financials sector. Boeing is up 2.8% so far this morning on the news that the FAA may soon approve the company's fixes for its 787 Dreamliner fleet. Though this approval would only make it possible for Boeing to test the fix, it is the next step toward getting the fleet back in the air. The tests are slated to start later this month, even though the National Transportation Safety Board is preparing to release a report and investigative files about the Dreamliner batteries that challenge the FAA procedure that approved them for safe use in the first place.

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Fool contributor Jessica Alling has no position in any stocks mentioned, but you can contact her here. The Motley Fool recommends American International Group. The Motley Fool owns shares of American International Group, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and has the following options: Long Jan 2014 $25 Calls on American International Group. 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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