Dow's Small Gains Fueled by Good News All Around

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is trying to make some headway this morning in order to gain back the losses from its previous two-day trading slump. Though it's only up 79 points as of 11:45 a.m. EDT, the index has some pretty good news to hang its hat on.

It's the economy... 
Investors got a
pleasant surprise this morning when the revised GDP estimate for the second quarter was announced at 2.5% -- a solid increase from the previous estimate of 1.7%. With the upward revision comes renewed evidence that the economy is recovering, and this should give both investors and consumers a boost in confidence.

Weekly jobless claims numbers were also released this morning, with the latest count dropping 6,000 to 331,000 for last week -- another positive sign that businesses are maintaining their workforce. Investors will have to wait until next week's Employment Situation report from the Department of Labor to see whether or not those same businesses are hiring more workers, which is the activity the economy really needs to get it moving.

Fill 'er up 
Though the situation in Syria is no closer to being resolved than it was yesterday or the day before, consumers are getting a bit of good news this morning. Though Syria is not a major player in the oil market, any military activity in the Middle East is seen as a probable disruption to the outflow of oil. With that in mind, investors drove up shares of both
Chevron (NYSE: CVX  ) and ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM  ) , expecting higher gas prices as the Syrian issue developed. But this morning, both companies are down following the news that oil futures are indicating that any spike in oil prices will be short-lived -- as would higher gas prices. Without any knowledge of what type of military intervention and response will occur in Syria, all of the uncertainty is being priced into the first month. Should prolonged military action occur, prices would remain higher for longer.

Hold the phone 
The confirmation of talks between
Vodafone (NASDAQ: VOD  ) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ  ) over the former's sale of its 45% stake in their U.S. joint venture, Verizon Wireless, to the latter has sent both stocks soaring. Though there hasn't been a deal made yet, the estimated $130 billion sale would be the largest such deal ever made and would save Vodafone an estimated $35 billion in taxes.

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