2019 has so far been a good year for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, with it currently up 15% year-to-date as it begins the final quarter. Despite the Dow rising, it has not been an easy year for investors, with the ongoing trade dispute between China and the US causing some volatility along the way.
What is the Dow Jones?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is a stock market index that tracks the performance of 30 large companies listed on the NASDAQ and NYSE stock exchanges. The DJIA is comprised of blue-chip companies that have recorded stable earnings for many years, such as Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc, Visa Inc, Walt Disney Company, Exxon Mobil Corporation, and more.
Dow Jones Industrial Average Market Overview
Data from Finviz shows that currently, 25 out of the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones have gained in price year to date. This year's worst-performing stock in the Dow is Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), which is currently down 21.45%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index is currently up about 15% in 2019. The price of the DJIA at the end of 2018 was 23327.46 points, from which it has climbed to 26787.40 as of October 15, 2019.
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The outlook for the remainder of the year is cautiously optimistic, with it being a seasonally strong fourth quarter and a possible US/China trade deal on the way. Causes for concern include the global economic slowdown, Brexit uncertainty, and if the US/China trade deal does not come to fruition.
The 5 Biggest Dow Jones Gainers in 2019
The five biggest Dow gainers so far in 2019 are Apple Inc. (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Home Depot (HD), Visa (V), and Procter & Gamble (PG).
Let's take a look at each of these Dow movers in more detail:
1. Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Apple Inc., (AAPL) is the best performing Dow Jones stock in 2019, with it up 49.53% year-to-date. Analysts recently raised their price targets for AAPL, giving it a positive outlook going forward. The most significant announcement from Apple came on September 10, 2019, when the company launched its iPhone 11 series. The stock is up about 10% since the launch of the new devices. Apple's market capitalisation has also increased, with the company joining Microsoft in the trillion-dollar club once again.
2. Microsoft (MSFT)
The other company in the trillion-dollar valuation club, Microsoft (MSFT), is the second biggest Dow Jones riser in 2019. MSFT shares are currently up 37.39% since the start of the year as the company has seen strong momentum in its cloud computing business. Microsoft has made market-share gains with its cloud product, Azure, and looks well positioned for 2020. Analysts are expecting to see another strong quarter when Microsoft reports its earnings on October 23, 2019.
3. The Home Depot Inc. (HD)
The third biggest Dow mover is The Home Depot Inc. (HD). The home improvements retailer has a similar year-to-date performance as MSFT, with its shares currently up by 36.29%. The Home Depot beat quarterly profit estimates in the previous quarter, as it continues to perform excellently despite the ongoing US-China trade war. The company's co-founder, Bernie Marcus, blames the trade war for negatively affecting its full-year sales forecast. HD was trading at $172 per share at the start of the year, but now stands at $234.
4. Visa Inc. (V)
Visa (V) is the fourth best performing Dow Jones stock. Shares for the payment technology company are up by 34.42%, with their price surging from $132 to $177 per share over the past nine months. Visa has made a few acquisitions this year, including Earthport, Verifi, and Payworks. These acquisitions have allowed Visa to strengthen some of the services it offers. Visa recently left the Libra Association, along with eBay, MasterCard, and Stripe, as the cryptocurrency project continues to receive heavy scrutiny from the United States Congress.
5. The Procter and Gamble Company (PG)
PG is the fifth and final Dow Jones mover on this list, with its shares rising by 31.73% since the start of 2019. PG was trading at $91 at the beginning of the year but now trades at $121 per share. The company has benefited from changes made to its operations, which started last year, focusing on cost-saving plans and productivity. The move has allowed the stock to beat analysts' expectations in 2 of the previous 3 quarters.
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