The Tech Sector Leads the Dow

Bolstered by a rising tech sector, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down a modest 0.19% as of 1:30 p.m. EDT, while the S&P 500 is down 0.07%.

In today's only major U.S. economic report, the Case-Shiller Composite 20-City Home Price Index rose a seasonally adjusted 1% in May, down from April's 1.7% growth. Year over year the index is up 12.2% to 156.14, the highest the index has risen since Spring 2004.

Case-Shiller Home Price Index: Composite 20 Chart

Case-Shiller Home Price Index: Composite 20 data by YCharts.

Since the summer 2006 peak, the peak-to-present drop is still roughly 25%. The big question that remains is whether housing prices will continue to rise since mortgage rates jumped nearly a full percentage?

US 30 Year Mortgage Rate Chart

US 30 Year Mortgage Rate data by YCharts.

While that's still a historically low mortgage rate, the economy is growing slowly, and prices have been steadily rising, boosted by a lack of inventory. The other thing to consider is when the Federal Reserve will begin to taper their long term asset purchases which have been propping up the mortgage market. After the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting, rates jumped when Ben Bernanke said the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its asset purchases as soon as the end of the year. The committee is meeting today and tomorrow, and at 2 p.m. EDT tomorrow it will release its statement on the economy. We will have to wait and see what happens, though there will likely be little change from before. 

Today's Dow leader
Today's Dow leader is Cisco, up 1.2%. Following it up are three other Dow technology stocks: Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Intel. Outside the Dow, Apple is up 1.4%, while Facebook is nearing its IPO price, rising 4.6% to $37.05. The technology sector, particularly large-cap tech stocks, have not kept up with the broader market's rise. Perhaps the market is acknowledging the tech sector's relative underperformance as an opportunity.

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Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He owns shares of Cisco Systems. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Cisco Systems, Facebook, and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Facebook, Intel, and Microsoft. 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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