August's winning and losing blue chips

As the summer winds down, here's a look at the season's best and worst Dow performers.

By Wall St. Cheat Sheet Sep 6, 2012 1:28PM

A woman in a swimming pool, copyright Liam Norris, Cultura, Getty ImagesBy Eric McWhinnie, Wall St. Cheat Sheet


With Labor Day behind us, summer has come to a symbolic end.


U.S. stocks logged another month of gains in August. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.63% higher, while the S&P 500 increased nearly 2%. The Nasdaq, helped by an 8% rise in Apple (AAPL), jumped more than 4% for the month.


All three major averages finished August on a high note and posted their first gains in the month since 2009, as markets enjoyed Ben Bernanke's Jackson Hole speech.


The Fed Chairman did not specifically detail more quantitative easing measures, but reiterated that the central bank "will provide additional policy accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labor market conditions in a context of price stability."


The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for the third consecutive month. Although the blue-chip index is normally viewed as boring, there were plenty of large movers.


Below are the best and worst performers in the Dow for August:


Best:

Cisco Systems (CSCO)  19.62%
Bank of America (BAC)  8.86%
Home Depot (HD)  8.76%
United Technologies (UTX)  7.27%
Microsoft (MSFT)  4.58%


Worst:

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ)  -7.46%
Coca-Cola (KO)  -7.43%
Verizon Communications (VZ)  -4.87%
Boeing (BA)  -3.40%
Intel (INTC)  -3.39%


Interestingly, investors appeared more willing to take on risk as well-known dividend names like Coca-Cola and Verizon were among the worst performers. In the S&P 500, the divide between companies with and without dividends was even more pronounced. According to Bespoke Investment Group, a market research firm, the highest-yielding S&P 500 stocks averaged a gain of only 0.62% in August. In comparison, non-dividend S&P 500 companies jumped an average of 5.45%.


(Microsoft owns and publishes Top Stocks, an MSN Money site.)


Eric McWhinnie is an editor at Wall St. Cheat Sheet. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.


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