The consensus of an improving housing market has gained more credence as data released this morning shows new home starts increased 6.9% in June from the revised May estimate of 711,000. Right now any growth is good growth, unfortunately the only confirmation out of Ben Bernanke during his two-day testimony is of anemic economic growth and slow progress toward alleviating unemployment. The Fed chairman does not see the United States entering a double-dip recession, but with GDP growth expectations under 2%, the markets cannot take much comfort in the prediction.
Fortunately, the markets are up as investors are encouraged by the string of optimistic earnings reports.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
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Source: Yahoo! Finance.
Bank of America
Pharmaceutical companies were expected to release sound numbers this earnings season, but that was not the case with Abbott Laboratories
A surprising number of companies are beating estimates so far this quarter, but the unexpected bottom lines are not caused by unanticipated second-quarter growth. The upended numbers are thanks to the extremely low estimates from analysts. Today's good news is not correlated with an improving economy; rather, it shows how negative the economic outlook currently is. With more potential buying opportunities, now would be a great time to check out The Motley Fool's special report: "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich." This free report will list three remarkable companies as well as offer great advice on how to invest to secure a comfortable retirement. Get your free report now.
Joel South owns shares of no company listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, Abbott Laboratories, and Bank of America. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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