These Stocks Are Leading the Dow Higher

At the halfway point of the trading day the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) was down 32 points (-0.23%) to 13,527. The S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  ) is down three points (-0.19%) to 1,454.

There were three economic releases this morning which were mixed for stocks. The first was the Case-Shiller home price index, which rose 1.6% in July, down from June's 2.3% growth. The second release was the FHFA home price index, which rose 0.2% in July, below June's 0.7% growth. While both these numbers weren't great, economists were pleased that they were positive.

Both of those releases, however, were overshadowed by the Consumer Confidence Index, which came in at 70.3 for the month of September -- its highest level since February 2012. That's above both August's index of 61.3 and analyst expectations of 65. Consumers' confidence is likely being bolstered by rising home prices, falling oil prices, and a lack of bad news out of Europe. Economists are hoping this jump will mark a turning point for the economy.

The markets as a whole are down slightly, but a few stocks are pushing the Dow higher.

Today's Dow leaders

Today's Dow leader is Home Depot (NYSE: HD  ) , up 1.46% ($0.87) to $60.26. Home Depot hit a 52-week high today of $60.58. The home improvement retailer has been on a small tear, up 17% over the past three months as continually rising home prices bode well for the company. The positive housing numbers have already shown up in Home Depot's bottom line, as the company reported strong earnings three weeks ago. Analyst John Grgurich recently took a hard look at Home Depot and its business practices. Click here for his take.

2. Second for the day is General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) , up 0.89% ($0.20) to $22.56. Earlier today, GE came pennies away from its 52-week high of $22.69. Two weeks ago the FDIC's board did not take action on GE's proposed deal to buy MetLife's banking business. Last Friday, MetLife and GE amended their deal in order to hopefully gain regulatory approval. Fool analyst Sean Williams recently took a look at GE and laid out three key things to watch at the company. Click here for his take.

The best approach
Watching the broad market each day is exciting, but investing doesn't have to be gut-wrenching and stressful. If you're in the mood to pick up some solid buys for the long term, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report from Motley Fool's expert analysts called "2 Dirt Cheap Stocks With Huge Dividends." It won't be available forever, so click here -- it's free.

Dan Dzombak can be found on his Facebook page. He holds no position in any company mentioned. Click here and like his Facebook page to follow his investing articles. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of The Home Depot. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


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