Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Health Care Leads the Dow Jones Higher Today

Health care and technology stocks are leading the stock market and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) up today following positive reports on the housing market and inflation. As of 1:20 p.m. EDT the Dow was up 73 points to 17,125. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) was up 12 points to 1,985.

There were two U.S. economic releases today.





Consumer Price Index Inflation Rate




Core CPI




Existing Home Sales


5.04 million

4.9 million

The one to pay attention is the National Association of Realtor's existing-home sales report. The NAR reported that home sales picked up in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million. That's better than May's 4.9 million and analyst expectations of 4.97 million, but it's down 2.3% from 5.16 million in June 2013.

US Existing Home Sales Chart

US Existing Home Sales data by YCharts.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun dug deeper into the housing market, saying: "Inventories are at their highest level in over a year and price gains have slowed to much more welcoming levels in many parts of the country. This bodes well for rising home sales in the upcoming months as consumers are provided with more choices."

He went on to add some good news for homebuilders: "On the contrary, new home construction needs to rise by at least 50 percent for a complete return to a balanced market because supply shortages -- particularly in the West -- are still putting upward pressure on prices."

Homebuilder stocks, as represented by the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEMKT: XHB  ) , are up 1.5% today.

Home sales were a key strong point of the economy in 2013, but they have since lagged in 2014 as higher interest rates, coupled with high home prices around the U.S., have caused the market to stagnate. If home sales continue to improve, the rest of the economy should see a boost, as higher home sales correlate with increased consumer spending.

All sectors of the stock market are up today, with health care and technology leading the way.


Among Dow stocks, the leader today is UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH  ) . Last week UnitedHealth reported earnings that beat analyst expectations and pulled the rest of the sector higher. Besides the company's massive size, one thing that sets it apart from its competitors is its decision not to get involved with the Obamacare exchanges. UnitedHealth is currently involved with only four state exchanges, but it has since said that would be increased next year. UnitedHealth may be reconsidering that after a federal appeals court ruled today that Affordable Care Act subsidies on federal exchanges were illegal.

However, the health care sector is broadly higher today, as many believe the ruling will be overturned, and just two hours after the decision, a separate appeals court upheld the ACA's federal-exchange subsidies. This issue a big deal, as 36 states currently use the federal exchange instead of setting up their own. Also, 87% of people who signed up so far this year received subsidies. After the ruling, the Obama administration immediately announced that it will appeal. Given a split federal court system, this issue will likely make it to the Supreme Court.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 3038941, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/31/2015 4:54:55 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Dan Dzombak

Dan Dzombak has written for The Motley Fool since 2008. He covers value investing, investing process, and success among other things. You can follow him on Facebook or Twitter by clicking the buttons below or head over to his blog at

Today's Market

updated 2 days ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
NASD 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:55 PM
^DJI $16643.01 Down -11.76 -0.07%
^GSPC $1988.87 Up +1.21 +0.06%
S&P 500 INDEX CAPS Rating: No stars
UNH $117.28 Down -0.49 -0.42%
UnitedHealth Group CAPS Rating: *****
XHB $36.17 Down -0.01 -0.03%
SPDR S&P Homebuild… CAPS Rating: *