Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) Leads the Dow in a Shaky Trading Session: Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), The Home Depot, Inc. (HD)

Today’s Dow leaders
Today’s Dow leader is Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ), up 2.7%. Earlier today Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) announced in a press release a new analytics and information-management service to help clients gain value from big data. Big data has been a hot topic the past few years as cheap computing power and memory allow companies to collect more data than ever before. The easy part is collecting the data; the hard part is doing something useful with it. The “Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) Big Data Discovery Experience” aims to enable clients to unlock the value of their data and should provide a growth opportunity for HP going forward.

Furthermore, a Morgan Stanley analyst upgraded Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) from hold to buy, citing the company’s renewed focus on free cash flow. CEO Meg Whitman is trying to turn around Hewlett-Packard and return value to shareholders. The analyst believes the focus on free cash flow will free up cash to return to investors more quickly than previously anticipated. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HPQ) currently yields 2.4% and is a member of the 2013 Dogs of the Dow. Increased dividends would be welcomed by shareholders.

Second for the day is Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) , up 1.5%. Citigroup analyst Michael Rollins upgraded Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) from hold to buy on renewed speculation that Verizon will buy out Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD)‘s 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) Wireless is a strong business, and Vodafone’s stake won’t go cheaply. Dividends from Verizon Wireless currently make up the majority of Verizon’s earnings and give Vodafone shares a hefty special dividend each year. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) will have to take on a significant amount of debt to pull off such a buyout, and if that happens, investors should be wary. In the meantime, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) sports a 4.3% yield and is also a member of the 2013 Dogs of the Dow.

Third for the day is The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD), up 1%. Last week’s retail sales numbers showed rising consumer spending on home improvement. Given the negative homebuilder confidence numbers, it’s a bit of a surprise that Home Depot is up, but with the overall level of homebuilding and home improvement activity higher than last year, The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) is set to do well.

The article HP Leads the Dow in a Shaky Trading Session 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 Home Depot.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.