This morning, the markets were greeted with positive housing numbers that beat economists' estimates and reignited the belief that the U.S. housing market is well on its way to a full recovery. The number of reported housing starts came in at 894,000 when most were expecting just 833,000. It's widely believed that for every single home built, 2.1 new jobs are created, so a difference of 61,000 homes means 128,100 more jobs than were expected, and with unemployment still around 8%, every job counts.
But, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) ended the day lower. Investors were again reminded that not everything is wonderful on Wall Street or main Street when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reminded everyone of the fiscal cliff and all the economic problems it will cause if politicians don't reach a compromise. The index now sits at 12,788, down 7 points or 0.06% on the day.
On a brighter note, not all of the index's components shared its fate. Of the 30 stocks that make up the Dow, only 12 of them were in the red during today's trading session. This afternoon I explained why Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) all moved lower. Click here to find out why, or stick around to learn why Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and Boeing (NYSE:BA) all moved to the upside.
So why were they higher?
Shares of do-it-yourself home improvement store Home Depot were up on the positive housing news today. The stock gained 0.77% during today's trading session. Share haves been on quite a roll this year -- up 51% year to date -- and it's currently the second best performing Dow component of 2012. Since Hurricane Sandy and a solid earnings report, shares have been trading at 52 week highs, and now with housing in full recovery mode, there is no sign that the stock will slow down anytime soon.
While the housing recovery will help home-improvement stores, it will probably help the nation's banks even more. Just last week we saw home foreclosure numbers lowering, and now with new home construction increasing, this is a sign that the banks are probably increasing lending and getting back to traditional banking business, something the big banks have been moving toward since the start of the financial crisis. In one positive sign, shares of Bank of America are higher by 1.48% today.
Shares of Boeing also flew higher by 0.81% today. The only real positive news pertaining to the company came from a U.K. discount airline, EasyJet. The company announced great quarterly results this morning and indicated that it's in the market for some new planes. Boeing's 737 Max aircraft is being considered with a few other aircraft designs from other manufactures. The company will be placing an order before its next board meeting but won't need the aircraft until 2017. This would work great for Boeing if it were to get the sale, because of its long backlog list. Additionally, EasyJet's management stated that the company may look to renew its entire fleet over a period of 10 years.