The market was up ever so slightly today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) , the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC ) , and the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC ) rose 0.10%, 0.12%, and 0.15%, respectively. No Dow component was up or down as much as 2%. With that as context, let's look at the stocks everybody was talking about.
Housing stocks got a boost from some stronger sales and starts numbers. August's existing-home sales grew 9.3% year over year to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.82 million and housing starts reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000 units. The market liked the numbers enough to boost S&P 500 members PulteGroup and D.R. Horton by 4.25% and 4.07%, respectively.
But leading the gainers on the S&P 500 were Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) and MetroPCS (NYSE: PCS ) , up 7.13% and 5.21%, respectively. The catalyst was comments from Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, who noted at a conference that the wireless telecom industry was headed toward more consolidation. MetroPCS, among others, would be a logical acquisition target if Sprint were so inclined.
In more good iPhone 5 news for Apple, The Wall Street Journal's tech guru Walt Mossberg gave a pretty upbeat review (link requires subscription), saying, "On balance, I still consider the iPhone the best smartphone on the market, especially with its staggering 700,000 third-party apps and a wealth of available content." He concluded by saying: "Apple has taken an already great product and made it better, overall. Consumers who prefer huge screens or certain marginal features have plenty of other choices, but the iPhone 5 is an excellent choice."
So it was a good day for homebuilders and a busy day in the telecom space. But good investing requires a longer-term outlook beyond the daily grind. To help, check out "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich." The free report details three stocks that can help in your quest for the perfect portfolio. Click here to find out their names.