Industrial Stocks Drive Dow's 112-Point Day


Closing at new all-time highs, the Dow Jones Industrial Average capped off its fourth straight week of gains Friday. With consumer sentiment rallying this month to levels not seen since July 2007, Wall Street pushed higher on a bullish frenzy to head into the weekend. With several major industrial stocks ending among the Dow's top gainers, the index closed up 121 points, or 0.8%, to finish at 15,354.

Not only did JPMorgan Chase end as the Dow's best performer on the day, adding 2.6%, but it also played a big role in the broader market rally. The bank hiked its year-end price target for the S&P 500 more than 8.5%, from 1,580 to 1,715. But the major reason behind the megabank's rally today stemmed from the approval of a new exchange for credit default, interest rate, and commodity swaps. You can understand the surge, since the swap market is worth more than $600 trillion globally.

Industrial stocks, however, flourished today, and Boeing tacked on 2.4% as news broke that top hedge fund managers moved more than $1.6 billion into the stock in the first quarter alone. The popularity with elite investors, combined with the return of the 787 Dreamliner after months of halted shipments, translated to a great week for Boeing shareholders, with shares up 5%.

The other major industrial stock making a run today was United Technologies , which added 2.3%, hitting a 52-week high. The industrials sector as a whole was the best-performing area of the market, so it's no surprise to see investors going for the cream of the crop with United Tech. The company also completed a divestiture today that will free it up to "focus on its core aerospace and commercial businesses."

Lastly, Pfizer shares lost 1% despite a general lack of news. It's possible some investors dumped the stock in a fit of "guilt by association" reasoning; one closely watched legendary investor liquidated his entire Merck stake in the first quarter. Though top management at Pfizer did sell a few hundred thousand shares this week, that fact alone doesn't tell us much considering how heavily they remain invested.

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