Let's face it: Investors don't want to hear about economic data anymore. At this point in the summer, every person who even loosely follows the news knows that the worldwide economies continue to struggle. But today, housing showed signs of life, and companies proved that they can make profits regardless of the economic state. Pleasantly surprised, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The markets ignored some depressing testimony from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, as well as from the Federal Reserve, whose report simply echoed Chairman Ben Bernanke's earlier assertion of a troubled U.S. economy, as three of the 12 Fed districts reported a drop-off in growth compared with the institution's previous report. Geithner, for his part, highlighted an economy "definitely slower" than he liked in an interview earlier today.
But the day had too many positives for pessimism to keep markets down. Another sign of a housing recovery helped start the rally. Builder starts on new homes hit their highest point since October 2008 today, and the number indicates the beginning of a housing recovery even as the industry overall remains stressed.
Most importantly, earnings soared. IBM
A number of companies contributed to a tech rally that sent the Nasdaq up more than 1%, including diversified electronics manufacturer Amphenol
Earning income from stock rallies like today is nice, but it's even better to supplement those gains with consistent, solid income from reliable dividend stocks. The Motley Fool's free report, "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need," highlights three Dow components with the extra factor that can take your portfolio to the next level. It's completely free, so get your copy today.