The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) has had a rough go of it the past few trading days with two precipitous drops of more than 200 points since the end of last week. Today is a different story, and the market has been buoyed by surprisingly good figures on home sales. Just after noon, the Dow was up 13 points, or 0.1%, to 13,116. Half of the 30 components are positive for the day.
Housing numbers released today by the U.S. Department of Commerce painted the picture of an improving market for home sales. September sales for single-family homes implied an annual rate of 389,000, the highest rate in two-and-a-half years.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) has been one of the top Dow stocks to rise through lunchtime, despite reporting falling profits in the third quarter. The positive news that has driven the stock higher today -- it's trading up around 1% as of 12:15 p.m. EDT -- is the company's better-than-expected forecast for 2012 earnings. While analyst estimates stood at $4.72 per share, Boeing announced EPS expectations between $4.80 and $4.95 for the year.
United Technologies (NYSE: UTX ) has also been one of the Dow's outperformers, tacking on about 1.5% for the day and recovering from its dismal showing on Monday.
Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO ) has been the biggest loser in the Dow, dropping nearly 2% because of guilt by association with rival Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR ) , which reported yesterday, issuing downward guidance for its upcoming quarter.
Outside the Dow, Facebook (Nasdaq: FB ) has been the star of today's market, trading up around 20% thanks to a quarter with impressive advertising and mobile revenues. One of the concerns with Facebook has always been monetization, especially as the company adapts to target the rapidly increasing mobile-consumer market.
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