The Dow's Top Stocks on a Record-Setting Day


Thanks to a few top stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to once again set a new all-time closing high at 14,865. Today, the index rose 62 points, or 0.42%, after investors received a better-than-expected jobless claims report, despite a few technology stocks plummeting. The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims for last week fell by 42,000, to 346,000. Economists were only expecting a decline of 23,000 from the 388,000 claims which were reported two weeks ago.

With the jobless numbers moving in a positive direction, the markets, as a whole, ended the session on a high note. While the Dow was the top index, the S&P 500 managed to rise 0.36%, as the Nasdaq lagged behind, only gaining 0.09%.

The Nasdaq was likely pulled lower by the IDC report, which indicated that PC sales declined 14% during the first quarter of 2013. This report pulled a number of technology stocks lower, but shares of Cisco slipped away from the downward pressure, and managed to become one of the index's top stocks. Shares of the networking giant rose 1% during today's trading session after climbing 2.4% yesterday, and 2% on Tuesday. Today's move came on very little news, but Cisco certainly is gaining momentum. The company also recently announced a joint project with Microsoft, in which the two will work together to provide data center customers with more functionality and lower complexity. In addition, the two will work together to improve and grow data center operations.

Another top stock today was Chevron , which saw its shares rise 1.09%. One likely catalyst for the rise was the recent Morgan Stanley report that claimed Chevron would outperform its fellow Dow component and competitor ExxonMobil by 55% over the next few years. Morgan Stanley believes Chevron could experience higher production growth and realize better returns in the coming years. The firm also raised Chevron's price target to $135 per share, while reducing Exxon's to $85 per share.

Not only does Morgan Stanley believe Chevron is cheap, but my Fool Colleague Brian Pacampara also feels that way. To read what Brian has to say about the company, click here.

Shares of Pfizer rose 2.41%, making it the true "top stock" of the Dow today. The increase came after Pfizer announced that its palbociclib, an experimental treatment for breast cancer, received the Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA. This is a great development for the company, as it will now have the drug expedited through the regulatory process. Currently, the drug is in the later stages of testing, and this news should help it hit the market sooner rather than later.

More top stocks

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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron and Cisco Systems. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513. 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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