Let's face it: Investors don't want to hear about economic data anymore. At this point in the summer, every person who even loosely follows the news knows that the worldwide economies continue to struggle. But today, housing showed signs of life, and companies proved that they can make profits regardless of the economic state. Pleasantly surprised, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
The markets ignored some depressing testimony from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, as well as from the Federal Reserve, whose report simply echoed Chairman Ben Bernanke's earlier assertion of a troubled U.S. economy, as three of the 12 Fed districts reported a drop-off in growth compared with the institution's previous report. Geithner, for his part, highlighted an economy "definitely slower" than he liked in an interview earlier today.
But the day had too many positives for pessimism to keep markets down. Another sign of a housing recovery helped start the rally. Builder starts on new homes hit their highest point since October 2008 today, and the number indicates the beginning of a housing recovery even as the industry overall remains stressed.
Most importantly, earnings soared. IBM
A number of companies contributed to a tech rally that sent the Nasdaq up more than 1%, including diversified electronics manufacturer Amphenol
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Fool contributor Will Chavey owns no shares of the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of IBM. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a synthetic long position in IBM. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.