Dow Loses Steam Late in Trading Session

At 2:56 p.m. ET today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 15,397.04, a mark just below today's high of 15,398.70. Over the next 64 minutes, the index fell 73 points, ending the trading session at 15,324, but it still ended the regular trading session up 21 points, or 0.14%. The other two major indexes performed slightly better, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.37% and the Nasdaq increasing 0.69%.

The fact that stocks rose at all was rather nice, considering the economic data that rolled out today wasn't all that encouraging. The first-quarter U.S. GDP number came in at 2.4%, just short of economists' expectations of 2.5%. Jobless claims for last week of 354,000 were more than the 340,000 analysts predicted. And while pending home sales increased in April by 0.3%, expectations were much higher.

A few Dow winners
American Express
moved 0.41% higher today after Nomura increased its price target on the stock to $89 and reiterated its buy rating. The firm believes the consensus estimates for American Express over the next few quarters are too low. With shares closing the day at $76.14, the $89 price target implies a healthy return.

Shares of Boeing were flying high today, increasing 2.6% after it was announced that half of the 60 new planes Singapore Airlines purchased for $17 billion will come from Boeing -- the other 30 will come from competitor Airbus. The order with Boeing was for the 787-10x, a longer version of the 787 Dreamliner that hasn't been launched yet. Boeing's 30 planes are currently scheduled to be delivered sometime during 2018 or 2019.

Two other big Dow winners today were Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase , with B of A's shares rising by 2.6% and JPMorgan's increasing by 1.74%. Both banks are devoting more time and effort to their mortgage businesses, and the only way these units will make money is if new loans are constantly being written -- and that's precisely what has been happening the past few months. Furthermore, now that interest rates are beginning to rise, the spread between what banks are borrowing money for and what they can lend it out at is slowly widening, and therefore profits from this unit will also begin creeping higher if the trend continues in the coming months.

More Foolish insight
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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. The Motley Fool recommends American Express and owns shares of Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter: @mthalman5513. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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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