The top two winners of the year thus far are The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), which has risen 37.9%, and Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), which is up 56.77% year to date. While both companies may be the top Dow stocks, they have also had a very rough 2013. For The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), it has nearly all been due to its newest, crown jewel, the 787 Dreamliner. The plane boosts the best fuel efficiency in the air today, but in order to get that efficiency, it needs large batteries. And as many know, those big batteries can cause fires, which is one of the many problems The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) has dealt with this year. An actual plane on fire on the tarmac, a number of emergency landings, smoke coming from another plane, faulty wiring with the fire extinguishers — the list goes on. But investors and airlines continue buying stock and planes from the company and the shares just keep going higher.
As for Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), the first half of the year was great. The company was ahead of schedule with its planned turnaround, confidence within management was high, and although PC sales were still struggling, it really looked like HP would soon be profitable because of progress made in other divisions. But that all ended recently when it announced its second-quarter earnings report and CEO Meg Whitman told investors that the company will not likely grow sales and profits in 2014 as it had previously hoped to do. That comment and a few others about the business sent shares tumbling 15.21% during the third week of August and well off its 52-week high of $27.78 per share.
As for either Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) or The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) as an investment option at this time, I believe HP still has some room to run higher in the future, but investors once again would need to be extremely patient, as Whitman’s turnaround plan may not fully play out for another few years. In the meantime, though, buying in thirds as the stock will likely continue to be rather volatile would be the only way I would start opening a position. As for The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), as long as the company fixes the problems it’s been having without any major issues, (i.e., a plane crash), the stock should continue to do just fine and orders will likely continue to roll in from the airlines.
The article Dow’s Year-to-Date Winners and Losers originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Matt Thalman.
Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned, either.
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