Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Today’s Dow-Leading Stock

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) is relatively unchanged after a weaker than expected report on the housing market. As of 1:10 p.m. EDT the Dow is down 17 points, or 0.12%, to 14,532. The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) is up 0.18% to 1,558.

Today there was just one U.S. economic release: the National Association of Realtors existing-home sales, which dropped in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.92 million. That’s down 0.6% from February’s 4.95 million and below analyst expectations of a rise to 5.03 million. While down for the month, the level of sales is still 10% above last March’s level of 4.46 million.

US Existing Home Sales Chart

US Existing-Home Sales data by YCharts.

The NAR said sales were lower because of the limited inventory of homes for sale. Total housing inventory increased just 1.6% to 1.93 million existing homes for sale, which translates to a 4.7-month supply. That’s roughly 17% less than it was a year ago, when inventory was at a 6.2-month supply. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said: “The inventory improvement last month results from a seasonal gain, but conditions continue to broadly favor sellers. We need a housing supply of over 6 months to have a generally balanced market between home buyers and sellers, but it’s unlikely we’ll get there without greater increases in housing construction.” The rising housing market was one of the driving forces of the U.S. economy in 2012; hopefully it will continue to improve.

Today’s Dow leader
Today’s Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) leader is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), up 3.9%. There are two pieces of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) news today potentially moving the stock. This morning it was reported that activist investor ValueAct Capital, run by Jeffrey Ubben, has taken a $2 billion stake in Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). ValueAct takes a different approach from other activists in that it tries to build relationships with companies’ management teams and works with them to unlock shareholder value. Typically, ValueAct invests in small-cap or mid-cap companies, so it is a bit of a surprise to see the firm investing in a mega-cap company like Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT).

The second headline is that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will reportedly bring back the “Start” button in its next update to Windows 8, according to The Verge. Windows 8 has been heavily criticized for its massive diversion from previous Windows designs — an effort to provide a single-user experience across desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Consumers have been slow to warm to Windows 8, and market research firm IDC has blamed Windows 8, among other factors, for the past quarter’s 14% drop in PC sales. Bringing back one of Windows’ most recognizable features would be a comforting compromise for many Windows users. Despite slowing PC sales, Microsoft stock has been doing well, having reported better-than-expected earnings last Thursday.

The article Today’s Dow-Leading Stock originally appeared on Fool.com is written by Dan Dzombak.

Dan Dzombak can be found on Twitter @DanDzombak or on his Facebook page, DanDzombak. He has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Insider Monkey Headlines
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months Click to see monthly returns in table format!

Lists

5 Retirement Mistakes To Avoid (and Einstein’s Famous Quote)

11 Smartest People in the World

6 Films About the Financial World You Need To Watch (While “The Wolf” is Not Around)

Warren Buffett and Billionaires Are Crazy About These 7 Stocks

The Top 10 States With Fastest Internet Speeds

10 Best Places to Visit in USA in August

Top 10 Cities to Visit Before You Die

Top 10 Genetically Modified Food In the US

15 Highest Grossing Movies Opening Weekend

5 Best Poker Books For Beginners

10 Strategies Hedge Funds Use to Make Huge Returns

Top 10 Fast Food Franchises to Buy

10 Best Places to Visit in Canada

Best Summer Jobs for Teachers

10 Youngest Hedge Fund Billionaires

Top 10 One Hit Wonders of the 90s

Fastest Growing Cities In America

Top 10 U.S. Cities for Freelancers

Top 9 Most Popular Free iPhone Apps

Top 10 Least Expensive Private Business Schools in the US

Top 15 Most Expensive Countries in the World – 2014

Top Businesses to Invest In

Top 5 Things You Might Be Doing Wrong With Your Business

Top 5 Strategic Technology Trends in 2014

Top Rags to Riches Stories

Parenting Behavior That Promotes Future Leaders

Top 5 Mistakes Made by Small Businesses

Top 5 Most Common and Potentially Devastating Financial Blunders

Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs for Web Designers

Top 6 Most Respected Professions that Also Pay Well

Top 5 Pitfalls Investors Should Avoid

Top 6 Lawyers and Policy Makers Under 30

Top 6 New Year’s Resolutions for Entrepreneurs

Top 7 Locations to Check in on Facebook

Top 5 Mistakes made by Rookie eBay Sellers

Top 7 eBook Publishers in 2013

Top 6 Health Industry Trends in 2014

5 Lessons for Entrepreneurs from Seth Godin

Top 5 Success Tips from Jordan Belfort – the Wolf of Wall Street

Best Master’s in Finance Degree Programs

Top 6 Earning Celebrities Over 50

The most expensive sports to play

Top 7 Earning Celebrities Under 25

Best 7 Online Courses to Take: Free Finance MOOCs

Top 6 Bad Habits that Promote Failure

20 Most Valuable Soccer Teams in the World in 2013

12 Most Expensive Countries for Foreign Students

Top 30 Most Influential Women in the World

Top 20 Most Expensive New Year Eve Shows

Top 5 Best Vocational Careers

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 47.6% in its first year! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!