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The Dow's Top 3 Stocks This Week

Saturday - 12/8/2012, 8:00pm  ET

Slowly but surely, stock markets moved higher this week. There's growing hope that the fiscal cliff will be resolved, and economic data continues to show strength. The unemployment rate fell to 7.7% in November and nonfarm payrolls jumped 146,000, which was well above what economists expected. As the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.99% this week and the S&P 500 strolled to a 0.13% gain, there were three big winners on the market.

Bank of America led the Dow with an 8% jump this week. The stock continues to surge higher as the economy improves. If employment and housing both continue the solid gains we've seen over the past few months, the stock could continue its solid run.

To learn more about the most-talked-about bank out there, check out our in-depth company report on Bank of America. The report details Bank of America's prospects, including three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Just click here to get access.

The second biggest gainer was Hewlett-Packard , which has been coming back from a terrible beating because of the Autonomy debacle. The gains over the past week or two are more of a dead-cat bounce than anything, though. HP has still had a terrible year, and investors betting on it now are just speculating on a comeback.

HPQ Total Return Price Chart

HPQ Total Return Price data by YCharts.

Last, but not least, is Travelers , the insurance company that gained 4.3% this week. The stock jumped on Tuesday after management announced that the net cost of Hurricane Sandy will be about $650 million. The company also began buying back shares again, which was a major sign that management is comfortable with its cash position.

Over the past week it's become apparent that the market is looking past the fiscal-cliff bickering and has reacted more to economic news. For now, that has stocks moving higher, but as we get closer to the New Year, the drivers of the market may change. Stay tuned.

To learn more about the most-talked-about bank out there, check out our in-depth company report on Bank of America. The report details Bank of America's prospects, including three reasons to buy and three reasons to sell. Just click here to get access.

This article was originally published as The Dow's Top 3 Stocks This Weekon Fool.com

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