These Stocks Are Leading the Dow Higher

At the halfway point of the trading day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) is basically unchanged, up just 14 points (or 0.11%) to 13,117. That's down 221 points from the one-year high of 13,338, which was set last Tuesday.

There were two economic data releases today, and they were positive for stocks. The Commerce Department revised Q2 GDP up to 1.7% versus the previously reported 1.5%. The government's GDP data is revised twice as better data becomes available.

The second economic data release was the National Association of Realtors' pending home sales index, which rose 2.4% in July. The index reached its highest level since April 2010. The index measures home sale contracts as opposed to home sale closings. The news is positive for stocks and companies affected by the housing market.

Investors are looking forward to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Announcements from Bernanke are always scrutinized for clues of the Fed's future plans.

In any event, stocks today are up very slightly.

Today's Dow leaders
Today's Dow leader is Verizon (NYS: VZ) , up 1.37% (or $0.59) to $43.26, with AT&T (NYS: T) second for the day, up 0.85% (or $0.31) to $36.95. The stocks are up on speculation that Apple (NAS: AAPL) will unveil and begin selling the next iPhone in September. That is good news for Verizon and AT&T -- and bad news for Sprint (NYS: S) . The new iPhone will likely come with 4G LTE data connectivity. Verizon and AT&T are much further ahead in their rollouts of their LTE networks than Sprint is. That means the launch of a new iPhone will be a great time for the pair to poach customers from Sprint.The news of a new iPhone is better for Verizon than AT&T, as iPhone users have had some qualms with how AT&T treats them, so new iPhone users may flock to Verizon rather than AT&T.

The best approach
Watching the broad market each day is exciting, but investing doesn't have to be gut-wrenching and stressful. If you're in the mood to pick up some solid buys for the long term, The Motley Fool has created a brand-new free report that focuses on three Dow stocks with both promising growth prospects and strong dividends. It can be yours -- absolutely free! -- just click here.

The article These Stocks Are Leading the Dow Higher originally appeared on

Dan Dzombak can be found on his Facebook page. He has no positions in any company mentioned. Click here and like his Facebook page to follow his investing articles. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have also recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. 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.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read Full Story