The Top 5 Dow Stocks So Far in 2012

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The following stocks have had the best performance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average so far in 2012: Bank of America ( BAC), JPMorgan Chase ( JPM), Microsoft ( MSFT), American Express ( AXP) and Home Depot ( HD).

The Dow has gained 8.57% year to date to 13,264.49.

Bank of America shares have risen 74.1% year to date to $9.68. According to the Federal Reserve's stress test results, Bank of America's estimated Tier 1 common equity ratio under the adverse economic scenario would be 5.7%, increasing to an estimated 5.9% at the end of 2013.

Bank of America has an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 9.15 times; the average for its peers is 9.07. For comparison, Citigroup ( C) has a lower forward P/E of 7.95; Wells Fargo's ( WFC) forward P/E is 9.52.

Twenty-five of the 39 analysts who cover Bank of America rated it hold. Ten analysts rated the stock buy and four gave the stock a sell rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Bank of America a C- grade and hold rating.

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Shares of JPMorgan have gained 38.74% year to date to $46.13.

JPMorgan passed the Fed's stress tests and raised its quarterly dividend to 30 cents a share from 25 cents.

The bank's forward P/E is 8.33 times; the average for its peers is 9.03. For comparison, both Morgan Stanley ( MS) and Goldman Sachs ( GS) have P/Es pf 8.55 and 9.3, respectively.

Thirty-four of the 40 analysts who cover JPMorgan rated it buy; six analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives JPMorgan a B+ grade with a buy rating and a $52.75 price target.


Microsoft shares have gained 24.38% year to date to $32.29.

Shares of Microsoft hit a 52-week high on March 16 of $32.95. The stock's 52-week low of $23.65 was set on June 16.

Microsoft's forward P/E is 10.69 times; the average for software companies is 30.44. For comparison, Oracle ( ORCL) has a forward P/E of 11.22.

Twenty-five of the 38 analysts who cover Microsoft rated it buy. Twelve analysts gave the stock a hold rating and one rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives Microsoft an A grade with a buy rating and a $37.10 price target.

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Shares of American Express have risen 22.98% year to date to $58.01. The credit card company increased its quarterly dividend in March to 20 cents a share from 18 cents.

Shares of American Express hit a 52-week high on March 28 of $59.26. The stock's 52-week low of $41.30 was set on Oct. 4.

American Express' forward P/E is 12.21 times; the average for its peers is 12.01.

Sixteen of the 31 analysts who cover American Express rated it buy. Twelve analysts gave the stock a hold rating and three rated it sell.

TheStreet Ratings gives American Express an A+ grade with a buy rating and $66.86 price target.


Home Depot shares have risen 18.91% year to date to $20.02. The home-improvement retailer reported on Feb. 21 fourth-quarter earnings of $774 million, or 51 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $587 million, or 36 cents.

Shares of Home Depot hit a 52-week high on March 30 of $50.42. The stock's 52-week low of $28.13 was set on Aug. 9.

Home Depot's forward P/E is 15.46 times; the average for home-improvement retailers is 16.05.. For comparison, Lowe's ( LOW) has a lower forward P/E of 14.08; Pier 1's ( PIR) forward P/E is 16.31.

Seventeen of the 31 analysts who cover Home Depot rated it buy; 14 analysts gave the stock a hold rating.

TheStreet Ratings gives Home Depot an A+ grade with a buy rating and a $62.02 price target.

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-- Written by Alexandra Zendrian

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