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International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) & More: These 3 Dow (.DJI) Stocks Are Winning Today

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up after 2012 fourth-quarter GDP was revised upward. As of 1:20 p.m. EDT the Dow is up 33 points, or 0.23%, to 14,559. The S&P 500 is up 0.21% to 1,566.

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHS COR (NYSE:IBM)

There were two U.S. economic releases today.

Report Period Result Previous
Weekly new unemployment claims March 16 to March 23 357,000 341,000
GDP revision Q4 2012 0.4% 0.1%

Weekly new unemployment claims rose 16,000 to 357,000. New unemployment claims can be rather volatile and had recently been hitting multiyear lows. This jump brings the four-week moving average up just 2,250 to 343,000. This is still below last year’s average of 360,000 to 370,000.

US Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Chart

US Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance data by YCharts.

The more interesting number today was the government’s final revision of Q4 2012 real GDP to 0.4% growth. GDP was initially reported to be down 0.1% in Q4. That number was then revised to 0.1% growth in Q4, and it now has been updated to 0.4% growth. The increase was led by a 13.2% increase in business investment, particularly in nonresidential structures, equipment, and software. This is good news, as it shows the economy was stronger than previously thought going into 2013, when growth would be dampened by new taxes and the sequester.

Today’s Dow leader
Today’s Dow leader is United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX), up 0.9%. On Tuesday, United Technologies completed the divestiture of its electric power systems unit, which it agreed to do as part of regulatory approval of its acquisition of Goodrich. While some are worried about the sequester’s impact on defense stocks, Fool Analyst Rich Smith recently picked United Technologies as his one stock to buy in March.

Second for the Dow today is International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM), up 0.7%. This morning IBM’s chief consulting competitor, Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN), reported better-than-expected earnings for the most recent quarter. Also pushing up International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) was news that the government had signed into law a new cyber-espionage review process for U.S. government technology purchases. This is good news for U.S. tech companies and consultants that work with the government.

Third for the Dow today is Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), up 0.4% on no real news. 2012 was a rough year for HP, with the stock down 47%. The stock fell so far that it made the 2013 Dogs of the Dow with its then-dividend yield of 3.72%. This year the stock has made a comeback, up 66% as investors realize the drop was overdone and the company continued executing on its turnaround plans. Last week the company also announced a 10% boost to the dividend, giving the stock a forward yield of 2.45%.

The article These 3 Dow Stocks Are Winning Today originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Dan Dzombak.

Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Accenture. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM).

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