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The Dow Now: Hewlett-Packard at Highest Levels Since October 22

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DuPont and General Electric were also up on the day.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL US stocks stayed all but flat, with major indexes trading in a narrow band at midday on expectations that the Federal Reserve will announce a new round of bond-buying at the end of its two-day policy meeting later.

"The market is waiting on the Fed, anticipating the open check to be out again, but we will see. Anything less than enormous will be disappointing to the market," said Joe Saluzzi, co-founder of New Jersey-based brokerage Themis Trading, according to Reuters.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) was up 0.05% to 13,255.20 points as of 12:04 p.m. EST.

DuPont (NYSE:DD) rose 1.92% to $44.53 after saying 2012 earnings will come in at the high end of its forecast. The company also said it would spend up to $1 billion to buy back shares.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) also advanced 1.69% to $14.51. Earlier in the day, the stock hit $14.64, which was the highest it had reached since October 22. The company recently introduced a new line of enterprise- and consumer-oriented Windows 8 (NASDAQ:MSFT) PC devices, which could provide a much-needed boost to the struggling PC company.

Dow financials performed strongly, with Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) (+0.69% to $10.58), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) (+1.10% to $43.11), and American Express (NYSE:AXP) (+1.00% to $57.63) all gaining. The bellwether Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEARCA:XLF), which tracks all financial stocks in the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), was up 0.65% to $16.18.

General Electric (NYSE:GE) also improved 1.56% to $21.84.

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) was the biggest Dow loser on the day, sliding 2.24% to $69.31. Speaking at the New York offices of the Council on Foreign Relations, CEO Mike Duke said yesterday that consumers were cutting their holiday spending thanks to growing concerns over the fiscal cliff. Duke noted that 15% of Wal-Mart's core customers indicated that the cliff would impact how much they spent this holiday, which investors took as a sign that Wal-Mart's sales this season could be underwhelming.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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