As investors digested a few positive and some negative economic data points today, it seemed like they just couldn't get the negative gross domestic product number which was released yesterday out of their heads. All the major indexes closed in the red again today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average leading the charge lower, as it moved down by 49 points, or 0.36%, and now sits at 13,860. The S&P 500 also lost 0.26%, or 3.85 points, while the Nasdaq shed a mere 0.18 points, or 0.01%. But, even though the indexes closed lower, a few Dow components managed to move higher on such a cold and gloomy day.
Travelers Companies lead all Dow stocks, as it moved higher today by 1.13%. Investors gave the company the cold shoulder for a number of months after super storm Sandy, but after losses came in lower than expected, the company's shares have been running higher. Year-to-date shares are up 9.25%, and it is currently the fourth best performing Dow component in 2013. No major news pertaining to the company broke today, and trading volume was up 28%, which indicates a large institutional buyer eating up shares caused the stock to move higher.
Shares of the best performing Dow stock in 2013, Hewlett-Packard , were up 0.67% today. News broke yesterday after the markets closed that the company will release a Chromebook PC sometime in February. The Chromebook is Google's version of a simplified laptop, which runs the Chrome operating system. While this should help Hewlett-Packard gain legitimate entrance into the low end of the PC laptop market, whether or not the less-functional Chromebooks will gain traction with consumers has yet been seen.
Also yesterday, McDonald's Board of Directors announced the company's next quarterly dividend will be $0.77 per share. The company began paying $0.77 per share back in November of 2012, which was an increase from $0.70 per share. So while this was not an increase to McDonald's dividend, it also wasn't a reduction, which is never good. The company saw same store sales numbers slow, or even decline, over the past quarter, and has already warned investors that January was going to be a tough month. Keeping the dividend the same assures investors that the company is still strong, and management remains confident in the business.
After making investors rich in 2011, McDonald's was one of the worst-performing blue chip stocks of 2012. Our top analyst on the company will tell you whether you should be worried by this trend, and he'll shed light on whether McDonald's is a buy at today's prices. Click here now to read our premium research report on the company.
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