Intel Is Top-Performing Dow Stock in Q1

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Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) stock held on to its place as the top-performing stock among the Dow 30 this past week. Shares added nearly 2.5% in what was a nearly flat week for the index itself. For the first quarter, Intel shares have gained 12.8%.

The second-best performer among the Dow Jones industrial average so far this year is Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), which up about 12.0%. That is followed by Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA), up 11.2%, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), up 6.7%, and Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE), up 6.2%. Only eight Dow stocks managed to post a gain for the first quarter of 2018.

The Dow added just 145 points over the course of this week and closed at 24,103.11, up less than 1% for the short week.

Intel started the week with a rating upgrade at Raymond James. The firm lifted Intel stock from Underperform to Market Perform. By the end of the short week, an IHS Markit report indicated that Samsung had surpassed Intel as the world’s chip sales leader. The news caused barely a stir, largely because about two-thirds of Samsung’s business comes from sales of memory chips, the most volatile part of the semiconductor industry.

The tech sector as a whole performed well this week, and Intel, even though lacking big news, went along for the ride. The sector is expected significantly to benefit from the changes to U.S. tax law, both directly and indirectly from consumers who will have more money to spend (theoretically) on the latest games, software and gizmos.

Intel’s shares closed up 5% Thursday at $52.08, in a 52-week range of $33.23 to $53.78. The consensus 12-month price target on the stock is $53.25. The low end of the price target range is $38 and the high end is $61.