The markets are mixed this morning, thanks to the impaired housing market rearing its head and a drop in consumer confidence. It would have been difficult to replicate yesterday, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke put QE3 back on the table. If anything, today's poor news gives bulls a chance to catch their breath. Let's take a closer look at how the major indexes are doing and some individual stocks making headlines.
Gain / (Loss)
Gain / (Loss) %
|Dow Jones Industrial Average ||(9.99)||(0.05%)||13,234.48|
Source: Yahoo! Finance as at 10:30 a.m.
The three major indexes all opened up, but poor macro data have driven the Dow into slightly negative territory. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are both slightly up, holding on to yesterday's tremendous gains. Speaking of yesterday, the Bernanke comments set the markets ablaze, resulting in gains of 1.2% to 1.8% for the three indexes.
As mentioned earlier, consumer confidence dropped 1.4 points, to 70.2 from last month. Rising gas prices likely affected that, and a report from the Case-Shiller index showing home prices have hit a 10-year low could make matters even worse. Home prices have declined, on average, 34% from the 2006 market peak. Underwater homeowners have been a huge drag on this recovery, and the financials that own these mortgages, like Bank of America
Staying in the Dow, Pfizer
However, with health reform taking center stage, it's not surprising that Pfizer is seeing additional action. Opening arguments over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act are being heard in the Supreme Court this week. The focus is on the individual mandate, and whether the federal government can require citizens to purchase insurance or face a penalty. The individual mandate gets healthy bodies into the insurance pool, making it profitable for insurers like UnitedHealth
A better approach
But instead of waiting and watching for a Supreme Court decision to invest in health care, why not follow Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner's lead. He recently identified a small-cap health-care company that is poised for monster returns, regardless of what happens to Obamacare. To uncover this top pick today, take a look at our special free report, "Discover the Next Rule-Breaking Multibagger." Don't miss out on this limited-time offer and your opportunity to discover this game-changing company before the market does. Access your report -- it's totally free.
David Williamson owns shares of Pfizer. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Citigroup. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Pfizer and UnitedHealth Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
More from The Motley Fool
Does a Strong Start Make 2018 a Sure Winner for Stocks?
Find out whether the so-called "January effect" is real.
Meet the 2018 Dogs of the Dow
Learn the basics of this simple dividend-investing strategy.
The Dow's Worst Day in 2017
Even with big gains, there were some scary times for the average.