The teasing continues on Wall Street, as stocks continue to get mixed news that pushes the market up and down. Weak economic data showing a big drop in factory orders and continuing weakness in housing prices kept stocks in check, but the market was able to post a modest gain based on better-than-expected consumer confidence. Just before 11 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI ) was up 22 points to 13,003.
Among Dow stocks, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) were among the biggest gainers, both climbing more than 1%. Yesterday, Intel announced at the Mobile World Congress that three new smartphones would use microprocessors produced by the chip giant, giving further fuel to Intel's move to diversify its strength beyond PCs toward the red-hot mobile device market.
Meanwhile, Microsoft is part of a group of companies that has complained to antitrust officials in the European Union about Google and its Google+ social network. The move is just the latest in a series of small skirmishes between the two tech giants.
Finally, American Express (NYSE: AXP ) was down 0.6%. Although it's well known for its cards, AmEx also has a travel services business. Last night's positive earnings report from priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN ) makes it clear that traditional travel services have given way to online aggregators, which could threaten AmEx's business model in the space. Priceline shares surged more than 7%.
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