Depending on the hour you looked at headlines this week, there could have been a dozen drivers of the market. Syria is on traders' minds, unemployment figures on Friday were uninspiring, and a plethora of acquisitions last weekend came with everything from cheers to boos from the market. Add it all up, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.76% and the S&P 500 rose 1.36% for the week. Here are the three biggest movers on the market.
JPMorgan Chase rose 4% this week on the back of a continued rise in interest rates. When interest rates rise, it translates to the mortgage market, which is where JPMorgan still makes a lot of money. Rising mortgage rates and continued near zero short-term rates result in a widening interest rate spread for JPMorgan and other banks, which should also result in higher earnings. The downside is that mortgage volume may fall as rates rise, but there's no indication that the market will fall apart altogether. It looks like megabanks are in for more earnings growth as interest rates rise.
Intel was up 3.2% this week after releasing a chip aimed for the microserver market. The chip giant has missed out on new markets like mobile and microservers because it has generally had chips that use more power than its competitors. The C2000 chip released on the new Silvermont architecture claims to run on as little as 6 watts of power. If Intel can continue to improve low-power products, there could be more wins in mobile, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, which it won earlier this year. Those kind of mobile wins are the big upside for Intel.
United Technologies rose 3.1% this week, driven by growing tensions toward Syria. Pratt & Whitney is the company's second biggest division, and this is one of the few ways on the Dow to play the defense business. The defense budget has been hammered in recent years as the federal government tries to cut spending, and a conflict like this could loosen those purse strings just a little.
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The article This Week's Top Stocks originally appeared on Fool.com.Fool contributor Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Intel. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel and JPMorgan Chase. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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