The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) soared to great heights early today, gaining more than 100 points by midmorning following the failure of Senator Ted Cruz's filibuster-like speech against preserving the health reform law in a bill to fund the government past Oct. 1. Even fellow Republicans tired of the ruse, and voted 100 to 0 to consider the bill in its current form.
The rally didn't last long, however, and the Dow is fading fast, having lost much of its earlier gains, perhaps as investors steel themselves for the oncoming budget debate that is sure to be cantankerous, at best.
In economic news, the U.S. Department of Labor announced initial jobless claims earlier, noting a 5,000 decrease for last week, for a total of 305,000 compared to the previous week's revised 310,000. These numbers are subject to change, however, and probably didn't have a huge effect on investors' outlook.
Bloomberg reported a slight uptick in the Consumer Comfort Index this morning, to the third week in a row of increases. On the other hand, the recent Bloomberg National Poll showed that the American public has its doubts about the economic recovery, in spite of analysts' thoughts to the contrary.
On the housing front, the National Association of Realtors announced that pending home sales for August were down by 1.6%, citing low inventory, higher prices and rising interest rates. The market was expecting a reduction of 2.3%.
Down, down, down for the Dow
The Down continues to droop, up by a measly 35 points by late morning. Tech stocks are looking particularly dismal, with both Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) down well over 1%. Intel announced a quarterly dividend yesterday, of $0.225 per share, which probably accounts for some of the dip, but investors may also be registering their disapproval of the fact that the payout did not increase.
Cisco investors could be reacting to comments by CEO John Chambers, who told Barron's that he sees much competition coming Cisco's way in the next few years from inexpensive "white box" routers -- as well as IT services being offered by the likes of Amazon.
On the upside, Dow newcomer Nike (NYSE:NKE) is moving upward, as investors await the company's first-quarter earnings report later today. Nike has gained more than 35% so far this year, and investors are apparently expecting some stellar news from the sportswear giant -- and hoping that the company will continue to run up profits for the foreseeable future.
Fool contributor Amanda Alix has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Cisco Systems, Intel, and Nike. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Intel, and Nike. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.