Investors received a little good news and a little better-than-expected news today. According to Core Logic, housing prices were 12.1% higher in April 2013 than they were during April of last year. This is just another indication that the housing market is recovering nicely at this time. In other economic news, the U.S. trade deficit widened in April, but less than expected. Economists were predicting the deficit to hit $41.1 billion, but it came in at $40.3 billion.
And with that news, as of 11:45 a.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading lower by 9 points or 0.06%. If the index can't manage to close positive today, it will break a winning streak that has been going for the past 20 weeks. The Dow has closed higher for the past 20 Tuesdays, and it looks as if that run may come to an end today.
Yesterday's big Dow winners seem as if they will contend to be today's winners also. Shares of Merck are up 2.03% while Intel has risen 1.98%. Merck recently received very positive news pertaining to a developmental treatment for cancer. The drug, called lambrolizumab, has been able to reduce the size of tumors in 38% of the patients who took the medication. That may not sound like a big success rate, but those in the medical field are very excited about this drug.
Intel also recently received good news. The company's chip will be used in the newest Samsung Galaxy tablet, a position that Intel has been fighting to get and a sign that the dominant PC chip maker can convert to mobile. This announcement prompted an analyst to upgrade the stock and change the price target to $28 per share.
Two of the Dow's biggest losers today are Chevron and ExxonMobil ,which are down 0.98% and 0.68%, respectively. Both companies may be feeling some downward pressure due to lower crude prices today and a report from Barclays that energy exploration and production spending will be higher than expected at the beginning of the year. Crude is currently down 0.81%, but with increased spending on exploration, the market could be hit with an oversupply problem in the coming years if large oil fields are found. That would send the price of crude down even more, which would ultimately hurt the big oil companies' bottom lines.
Can Merck beat the patent cliff?
This titan of the pharmaceutical industry stumbled into 2013 and continues to battle patent expirations and pipeline problems. Is Merck still a solid dividend play, or should investors be looking elsewhere? In a new premium research report on Merck, The Fool tackles all of the company's moving parts, its major market opportunities, and reasons to both buy and sell. To find out more, click here to claim your copy today.
The article Dow Fights to Keep Tuesday Winning Streak Alive originally appeared on Fool.com.
Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. 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 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.
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.