Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) Pushes Forward After Early Trading Slump

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell sharply shortly after the market opened, losing 39 points. But the index was making its way back to breakeven, with peaks that just missed the heights of Friday’s close — until 11 a.m. EDT, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) surged past that mark to a 12-point gain. Without any major economic news today, investors are left to their own devices, creating uncertainty over whether the markets will see a fifth week of gains.

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI)

Economic news quiet
The calendar of events is pretty sparse this week, but investors may be setting their sights on Wednesday, when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before Congress on the state of the economy. Since there has been increased interest on behalf of the FOMC members to start paring down the current bond purchases in its QE policy, the market will be looking for any signs in Bernanke’s testimony that that may happen sooner than later.

Also starting on Wednesday, investors will get a bevvy of housing data that may move the markets. New and existing home sales data, as well as the FHFA home price index and mortgage application activity, are sure to stir up some movement in the markets. Since the huge drop in housing starts last week, concerns about the housing market’s rebound have developed, so the sales data will be especially important as a sign for the demand of current inventory.

Inside the Dow
Just after 11 a.m. EDT, financials are some of the stocks helping the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) surge higher. American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) is leading the way with a 1.43% gain in trading. The personal finance company may still be enjoying the boost it got from news that more merchants will be capable of accepting its cards thanks to the digital payment service Paymill. Though the service allows merchants the capability of accepting the cards, there is still a chance that some will not, since American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) charges higher processing fees than some of its competitors.

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is also headed higher this morning, with a 0.64% gain so far. Though the bank was just downgraded to “market perform” by KBW, investors may be more interested in how the bank is performing in the courtroom. After the New York Attorney General filed a suit against Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) and Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) for violating the terms of a foreclosure settlement, the bank went on the defensive. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) filed a letter stating that the AG had no right to file suit against it since it had not been informed of the formal violations and had not been given a chance to remedy the alleged violations.
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