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With the first three weeks of the trading year behind us, the news is we're up even though we're down

By Dian Vujovich

On the radio the other day I heard some investment pro say that there are 253 trading days in this year. Can’t verify that as I haven’t counted them all but it sounds like a good enough figure to be accurate. So with almost one month’s worth of those days behind us, the DJIA closed up almost 443 points from where it closed the last trading day in December 2011.

For anyone wanting the particulars, the DJIA closed today, January 28th, at 12,660.46. On December 30,2011 it ended the year at 12,217.56.

While today’s close also represents the first weekly loss for the Dow this year, that’s no big deal when you look at the bigger picture: So far, the first three weeks of this year have seen the 30 stocks reflected by that average experience a gain of 3.6 percent.

Speaking of those 30 stocks, there are still buying opportunities among them for anyone with a penchant for purchasing shares of companies selling under 20 bucks a share.

At this time there are four of them. In alphabetical order they include Alcoa (AA), that closed at $10.43 and happened to be one of only two Dow stocks that had an up day today. The other was United Technologies (UTX) but it’s out of my less than $20 per share price list—it closed at $77.62.

After AA is Bank of America Corp. (BAC). It ended the day at $7.29 per share. Didn’t Warren Buffet buy that last year when it was trading somewhere around five bucks a share?

The next two stocks are close to that 20-dollar mark: Cisco Systems (CSCO) closed at $19.56 per share and General Electric (GE) at $19.03.

No matter how you slice it, even though the week was a downer, the DJIAs performance over the entire three full weeks shows investors once again that one week’s performance is no indication of how an average can move over time. In this case, the move has been higher.

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