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Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ), The Boeing Company (BA): What’s Really Moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) in 2013?

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So here we are at the middle of 2013 already. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is up 1,950 points — or 15% — year to date. Which companies led the index to these huge gains? The answer is not as simple as you might think.

Dow Gains in 2013.

Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ)

The biggest winners in terms of straight-up percentage moves are pretty obvious. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) has soared 77% year-to-date on hopes that its turnaround efforts might be gaining traction. Yours truly happens to disagree. I still believe that Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) needs to refine its business strategy much further and perhaps split into two separate entities. But you can’t argue with the voice of the markets. So far this year, my bearish CAPScall on the stock has proven horrendously wrong.

Likewise, The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) bounced back strongly from niggling concerns about its big 787 Dreamliner bet. The high-end jumbo jet has overcome safety challenges and battery mishaps, and now looks like a solid best-seller worthy of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA)’s marketing focus. Share prices responded by doing their best impression of a Dreamliner on the runway, soaring 39% higher.

But these are not necessarily the largest drivers of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI)’s overall gains.

Switch your chart to the “Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) Points Change” view. The formerly smooth progression from large gains to small ones suddenly becomes a jagged roller coaster.

The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) still hangs on to the upper echelons, and actually delivers the largest point gains at midyear by dint of its triple-digit share price. The stock delivered 225 fresh Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) points so far in 2013.

But Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) is nowhere to be seen. Its modest 84 added Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) points ranks in the middle of the pack — the 12th largest gain among 30 components. That’s a side effect of HP’s shares trading in the low double digits. HP’s counterintuitive lack of impact on total Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) scores is perhaps the strangest side effect of the Dow’s price-weighted nature in 2013.

Other anomalies include Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) falling 7% on slow investments in global infrastructure construction. Thanks to the Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT)’s large share price, this move dragged the Dow down by 47 points. For a sense of scale, that’s more than the 40 points that Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) brought to the table — with a huge 27% move to the upside.

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