With one win in the books Monday, the stock market broke a long string of losses. Today, stocks are trying to add to yesterday's gains, with bulls pointing to a rise in existing home sales as a positive sign that the economic rebound isn't in danger of stalling out. Despite an overnight downgrade of Japan's sovereign debt rating, global markets were largely higher, and the Dow Jones Industrials managed to rise more than 50 points just before 10:45 a.m. EDT.
Topping the winners were financial stocks, with JPMorgan Chase rising almost 6%. Even as the company faces new problems after reports revealed that it and other underwriters on the Facebook IPO cut their revenue estimates immediately before the offering, bottom-feeding investors seem to believe that JPMorgan's stock represents a good value at current levels. Bank of America also rebounded, jumping 3.5% even as the FDIC sued it and a number of other banks over bad mortgage loans that were assets of banks that required an FDIC takeover.
Home Depot also recovered from recent losses, rising about 1.3%. Positive housing news has an immediate impact on Home Depot, which has long awaited better traffic that comes from new home construction and major renovations that usually accompany home sales. Even with rival Lowe's having recently given a weak sales outlook for 2012, Home Depot has outperformed Lowe's for some time and may well continue to do so.
Can we make it two in a row?
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