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Stronger-than-expected consumer confidence didn't give much of a boost to stock markets today, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has fallen 0.48% and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) is down 0.20%. The University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index fell from 84.5 in May to 84.1 in June but came in ahead of the estimate of 83 from analysts.
Interest rates continued to stabilize at lower levels than earlier this week, which should be a good sign for mortgage rates and borrowing rates for companies. The 10-year Treasury note peaked at a 2.67% rate on Monday, but it's now down to 2.49%, which is good because that's a benchmark used for mortgage and other rates.
Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) is one stock that's benefiting from lower rates. Yesterday, the 30-year mortgage rate hit a two-year high of 4.46%, and if that rate had continued, the home improvement market would quickly dry up and new home purchases could fall off the map. But it's likely that rate will fall considerably over the next few weeks, and that will be good for demand at Home Depot stores.
DuPont (NYSE: DD ) is lagging the Dow today, falling 1.6% after getting some reasonably good news. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said today that farmers planted a record number of acres of soybeans and corn this year, using 93% and 90% genetically engineered seeds, respectively. DuPont is one of the biggest seed suppliers, so that should mean higher demand for its products over the past quarter. Of course, futures of both corn and soybeans fell once the news was released, so the bump in demand may only be a temporary one.
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