The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) had nearly 50 points as of 11:30 a.m. EDT. Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) rose alongside its index, while shares of former Dow Jones component Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) also surged. Beyond the Dow, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) posted a modest increase.
New home sales beat
Perhaps helping to fuel the Dow Jones' rally, the Census Bureau announced on Friday that 433,000 new single-family homes were sold in the U.S. last month, a bit more than the 425,000 that economists had anticipated.
This contrasts with yesterday's release of disappointing figures on sales of existing homes. Still, it suggests the U.S. housing market is stronger than expected, which could be a good sign for the nation's economy and labor market.
Cisco continues post-earnings gain
While there wasn't much news affecting Cisco, shares of the networking giant have risen in the wake of its earnings report earlier this month. The stock is up more than 4% since the beginning of May.
Earlier this week, Cisco CEO John Chambers wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to do something about concerns that the National Security Agency was interfering with Cisco's hardware. Much of Cisco's business comes from abroad, and the fear that the NSA is tapping into the company's Internet networking devices is apparently making foreign buyers wary.
Google said to be planning satellite acquisition
Search giant Google is reportedly interested in acquiring Skybox Imaging, which specializes in satellite-based image-capturing technology. Google could pay more than $1 billion for the company, according to Tech Crunch.
Google could use Skybox's expertise to improve its Google Maps and Google Earth products. It might also be able to use Skybox to improve its relationship with corporate customers, enhancing its Earth Enterprise unit, which provides map data and imaging to large businesses.
Hewlett-Packard surges after earnings
Hewlett-Packard was one of the best-performing tech stocks on Friday, rising 6% in the wake of its quarterly earnings report. Hewlett-Packard's $0.88 per-share earnings were in line with what analysts had expected, but revenue of $27.3 billion was a slight miss.
Hewlett-Packard, however, did say that it would continue to reduce costs, specifically by cutting its workforce by an additional 16,000. This is on top of some 34,000 in other job cuts already announced. Hewlett-Packard, with its continued reliance on PCs and printers, remains a business in decline, and cutting its costs further could help boost the speed of its transition.
Interestingly, Hewlett-Packard's PC unit was one of its best-performing sectors last quarter, with revenue rising 7%. Much of this gain may have come from the end of Windows XP, as businesses still reliant on the ancient operating system turned to HP for new devices.