What's Sending the Dow Higher This Morning

All the efforts of central banks around the world have gone toward one purpose: getting the global economy back on track. Today, data on the U.S. housing market seemed to verify that all of their work hasn't been for naught, as sales of existing homes rose to their highest level in more than two years. After the Bank of Japan joined its peers on the bandwagon by providing a stimulus package of its own, blue-chip stocks gave their predictable response, with the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI  ) up about 14 points just before 10:45 a.m. EDT. But the broader market was mixed, with the Nasdaq Composite (INDEX: ^IXIC  ) actually falling as concerns linger about just how bad conditions may be to require such dramatic interventions across the globe.

Among Dow stocks, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) was up almost 2%. Its positive response to good housing news is predictable, but the company has had recent difficulty keeping its customer website up and running dependably. Web access has been an issue for B of A before, and with cybersecurity threats on the rise, the bank needs to ensure that it protects its customers if it wants to avoid another damaging hit to its already tarnished reputation among the general public.

Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) dropped about half a percent on news that the FAA would increase its inspections on its 737 aircraft in search of cracks in the fuselage and bulkhead of the planes. After an incident in 2009 in which a crack turned into a large hole during flight, the FAA believes tighter regulations could prevent future problems. Combined with Boeing's labor struggles, however, the news comes at an awkward time for the aircraft manufacturer.

Finally, Kraft (Nasdaq: KFT  ) rose 0.3%. The company may be destined to exit the Dow in favor of health insurance giant UnitedHealth Group in the near future, but Kraft shareholders are still preparing for the company's split into two parts. Meanwhile, as figures on the current crop harvest come in, they could have a huge impact on Kraft and its food-selling competitors in defining the costs they'll face looking forward.

Can the Dow hold its gains?
It's always tough to continue a bull market after a strong advance like we've seen over the past couple of weeks. Typically, it becomes even more important to focus on particular stocks and decide where you see them going from here. Bank of America faces a tough road in its attempt to recover from its major losses during the financial crisis, but the bank has made big strides so far. Find out what's next for B of A in the Fool's premium report on Bank of America. But don't wait; get started right now by clicking here.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of the companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of and creating a diagonal call position on UnitedHealth Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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