NEW YORK (TheStreet) - The Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up 1.59 points, or 0.01% in the month of April. Year-to-date, the blue-chip index has advanced 8.5%. The top percentage gainers within the index last month were Travelers ( TRV), Verizon ( VZ), AT&T ( T), Kraft Foods ( KFT) and American Express ( AXP).
Shares of Travelers rose 8.65% in April to close at $64.32. On April 19, the insurance giant reported first-quarter earnings of $806 million, or $2.02 a share, beating Wall Street's consensus view by more than 30%. Shares of Travelers hit a 52-week high on April 26 of $64.82. The stock's 52-week low of $45.97 was set on Oct. 4. 10 Stocks Poised to Rise in Apple's Wake >> Travelers' shares trade at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 10.31X; the average for its peers is 12.57X. For comparison, Chubb ( CB) has a higher forward P/E of 12.15X. Fourteen of the 26 analysts who cover Travelers rate it at buy. Eleven analysts give the stock a hold rating and one rates it at sell. The stock has risen 8.7% year to date.
AT&T shares rose 5.38% in April to $32.91. On April 24, the company reported first-quarter earnings of 60 cents a share on $31.82 billion in revenue. Analysts were anticipating earnings of 57 cents a share on revenue of $31.85 billion. Shares of AT&T hit a 52-week high on Monday of $32.95. The stock's 52-week low of $27.29 was set on Sept. 12. Twenty-two of the 39 analysts who cover AT&T rated it hold. Fifteen analysts gave the stock a buy rating and two rated it sell. The stock has risen 9.26% so far in 2012.
American Express shares increased 4.06% in April to $60.21. On April 18, the credit card company reported first-quarter earnings of $1.26 billion, or $1.07 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $1.18 billion, or 97 cents a share. Shares of American Express hit a 52-week high on April 27 of $60.96. The stock's 52-week low of $41.30 was set on Oct. 4. American Express shares trade at a forward P/E of 12.52X; the average for its peers is 11.98X. Sixteen of the 31 analysts who cover American Express rate it at buy. Eleven analysts give the stock a hold rating and four rate it at sell. The stock has risen 28.2% year to date.