Can the Dow Rebound Today?
After the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) slumped in late trading yesterday, investors will be looking for it to push new highs Wednesday. Here's what's likely to move the market today.
At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Census Bureau reports February durable-goods orders, which includes the likes of aircraft, automobiles, machinery, appliances, and furniture. The report is seen as a leading indicator of the manufacturing sector, and the market is expecting a 2.8% increase from the previous month, which had been the worst in three years. Orders in January dropped 4%, and Boeing (NYS: BA) reported demands of just 150 planes that month, down from 287 in January.
Poor manufacturing reports out of Europe and China drove the market down last week and could be a foreboding sign for American manufacturers. In addition to Boeing, look for Alcoa (NYS: AA) and Caterpillar (NYS: CAT) to move on the report.
Other items to watch
The MBA Mortgage Index, a weekly leading indicator of home-sale activity, comes out at 7 a.m. The index is a four-week moving average of a number of housing-related indices. While last week's figure dropped 7.4%, mortgage rates have come up lately, which could be a positive sign. Yesterday, the Case-Shiller Home Price index reported that home prices fell by 0.8% in January.
Finally, at 10:30 a.m., the Energy Information Administration will release the Weekly Petroleum Status Report. U.S. crude oil inventories dropped 1.2 million barrels last week but were still above average for this time of year at 346.3 million barrels.
Today is also the last day of Supreme Court hearings on the Affordable Health Care Act. The wrangling has focused on the legality of the individual-mandate portion of the act, which would require all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. Health insurers like UnitedHealth Group (NYS: UNH) figure to benefit most from the mandate and therefore stand to lose if the mandate is found to be unconstitutional. Though arguments conclude Wednesday, the court will not publish its decision until June.
Even the best investors can't expect to beat the market every day, but there are decisions you can make that will help you win over the long term. Do yourself a favor and check out this free report straight from our chief investment officer on his "Top Stock for 2012." It's a retailer in an emerging market that's growing fast and using a business model proven by one of the sector's greatest success stories. Get your free copy of the report right here.
At the time this article was published Fool contributorJeremy Bowmanholds no positions in the companies above.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of UnitedHealth Group. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.
Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.