Dow Continues to Close In on All-Time High


It's another day of conflicting economic data, but the bulls continue to push the Dow Jones Industrial Average higher. Data released this morning by The Confidence Board indicated that consumer confidence plummeted this month. The index fell from 66.7 in December to 58.6 in January, basically wiping out all of its gains during 2012. On the other hand, the Case-Shiller Home Index was reported today, showing that U.S. home prices fell slightly from October to November but remain much higher than they were a year ago, indicating that the economy is still slowly growing healthier over time.

The mixed economic data seems to have investors confused again today, as the three major indexes can't agree on which way to go. As of 12:55 p.m. EST, the Dow is up 63 points, or 0.46%, to 13,945. The S&P 500 is up 0.41%, while the NASDAQ is flat. Let's take a look at a few of the Dow's losers today.

So who's down and why?
For the second day in a row, shares of Home Depot are trading lower. This morning investors were given positive news when the Case-Shiller Home Index showed that November's home prices were higher on a year-to-year basis by 5.5%, but this report is a lagging indicator, nearly two months behind. Yesterday the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales fell by 4.3% from November to December. Home Depot's stock is down 0.55% today.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard are down 3.3%, making it the Dow's worst performer today. As investors ponder the possible Dell-Microsoft deal and how that may affect the personal-computer industry and, more specifically, Hewlett-Packard, some of them may be getting cold feet today and bailing on the stock. My fellow Fool Doug Ehrman recently pointed out a number of issues Helwett-Packard will face if the deal goes through and whether or not HP can survive a Dell-Microsoft world.

Shares of Boeing are down a further 0.46% today. It was announced this morning that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is helping Boeing's 787 Dreamliner engineers. Elon's work with the fully electric, battery-powered car makes him a great asset when it comes to cutting-edge battery technology, which should help Boeing in the long run.

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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Tesla Motors . Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Tesla Motors. 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.

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