The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was rallying yet again on Wednesday, up 60 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. Dow Jones component IBM (NYSE:IBM) was outperforming its index, while other tech stocks including Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) and Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO) posted solid gains.
Housing data continues to come in poorly
On Tuesday, the latest report on homebuilder confidence came in below expectations, suggesting that the U.S. housing market was showing signs of weakness. That may be the case, as more weak housing data was released on Wednesday. Building permits fell short of expectations, contracting 5.4% month over month in January; economists had expected a contraction of only 1.8%. Housing starts declined by an even greater degree, down 16% from the prior month, far short of the 5.7% fall that had been anticipated.
While these data points should be seen as a negative for the U.S. economy, and therefore the stock market, investors appeared to be ignoring them on Wednesday. Market participants may be looking ahead to the release this afternoon of minutes from the January meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.
IBM outperforms the Dow
IBM by late morning had posted a 0.7% gain that roughly doubled the Dow Jones index. IBM yesterday announced a new product designed to help enterprise customers defend against cybersecurity threats. That announcement may have been helping to fuel IBM's rally, as the ancient tech giant shifts its business from servers to other technologies.
Gogo remains volatile
Shares of in-flight Wi-Fi provider Gogo were up 5.6%, as the high-flying tech stock continued to be volatile. There wasn't much news to explain Gogo's rally, but longtime investors or observers of the company should be well accustomed to such volatility. Even with today's rise, Gogo is still down more than 9% in the past month.
Gogo remains a relatively new stock -- shares began trading just last spring -- and investors may still be struggling with properly valuing the company.
Garmin beats expectations
Garmin stock surged 10.5% to a multiyear high on Wednesday after the company posted earnings that were much better than analysts had anticipated.
Garmin's profit beat analyst expectations, while its full-year guidance was more optimistic than anticipated. Garmin's GPS business has been under assault, as more consumers turn to smartphones for their GPS needs. Still, Garmin has been innovating, releasing products in other business segments that have done quite well. In particular, its lineup of fitness watches and aviation products posted strong growth.