After an extended weekend and a week and half removed from the worst five-day trading session of the year, all three broad indexes are up, with the Dow Jones Industrials (INDEX: ^DJI) up 0.70% as of 12:00 p.m. EST. Good news from overseas seems to be spurring the rally after the markets received negative domestic news this morning.
First off this morning, the S&P/Case-Shiller report indicated that U.S. home prices dropped 2.6% compared to this time last year, making this the lowest they have been in 10 years. American consumer confidence dropped this past month to 64.9, considerably less than the expectation of 70. Consumers are pessimistic of the jobs report as well as fiscal worries and concerns over Europe. Both of these reports are mere noise today, as the more important economic news will be released later this week, culminated with the monthly jobs report this Friday.
Good news for energy and materials
The positive news of the day comes from overseas, where most European markets rose as polls in Greece show a pro-euro party leading in next month's elections. Also boosting the broad markets are encouraging signs that China will increase its growth rate. News reported last week stated the world's second-largest economy could grow at a slower rate than expected. However, these worries have subsided as Chinese banks have increased lending to increase spending and infrastructure project build-outs.
Positive signs that Greece will be staying in the euro as well as extended growth in China means manufacturing and technology will continue to expand, leading to a large consumption of energy. June oil futures are up 1.27% so far today, also spurring rallies in the energy and materials sector.
Dow component Chevron (NYS: CVX) is up 1.32% despite the negative press once again from leaking wells. Caterpillar shares are surging today on the growth news from China, as the company is currently expanding heavily into emerging economies. Outside of the Dow, Chesapeake Energy (NYS: CHK) is soaring today, up 5% as the Carl Icahn increased his shares of the company, now becoming the third-largest holder.
The hard-hit coal industry is also in action today, as Peabody Energy (NYS: BTU) is trading up 4.65% today after GoldmanSachs upgraded the company to buy from neutral. However, the big news today once again belongs to Facebook (NAS: FB) , with a huge "un-like" coming from investors as the company reached its new low, trading down 6.71% today. Rumors are circulating that Facebook may be looking to expand into smartphones as the Internet company looks for ways to fix its revenue conundrum.
International news has provided the shot in the arm the broad markets have needed, but don't expect this rally to last. The market is still extremely volatile and will remain so until eurozone problems subside and an acceptable level of unemployment prevails. With so much uncertainty, now is an excellent time to look into remarkable companies that provide industry-leading dividends as well as plenty of growth potential. Click here to see a free report detailing nine rock-solid dividend stocks that could help out your portfolio's performance.
At the time thisarticle was published Joel South owns shares of no company listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Chesapeake Energy and Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Chesapeake Energy, Goldman Sachs, and Chevron. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not 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.