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

The Top 10 Most Expensive Digital Cameras to Snap Stunning Shots With

The 10 Highest Quality Fast Food Restaurants In America Today

The 8 Best Halloween Decorating Ideas to Spook Up Your House

10 Marvel Women that Should Get a Movie Right Now

The 20 Best Remixes of Popular Songs that Will Make You Forget the Originals

7 Most Expensive Cities in the World

5 Least Expensive Cities in the World

10 Celebrities Who Believe In Scientology

10 High Margin Food Products to Build a Business Around

The 10 Most Expensive Clothing Stores in the United States to Get Decked Out At

The 5 Biggest Kickstarter Scams That Swindled Backers’ Donations

The 10 Most Expensive Boarding Schools In the World

50 Crazy Facts About Japan You Won’t Believe

Top 10 Least Expensive Hybrid Cars to Save the Planet With

The 10 Biggest ‘Gate’ Controversies in History

The 10 States with the Highest Nursing Shortages Leaving Their Hospitals Depleted

The 10 Best Value Investment Blogs that Every Investor Must Read

The 6 Cheapest Boarding Schools in Europe 2015

The 5 Most Expensive Cars To Insure in the World

The 10 Most Common Genetically Modified Foods

10 Self-Made Billionaires Who Came From Nothing

The 10 Most Expensive Cities to Live in North America

The 13 Most Expensive Headphones in the World to Represent

The Top 20 Wealthiest Soccer Teams in 2014

4 BuzzWorthy Cannabis Stocks And Some Smoking Derivative Plays

The 10 Healthiest Fast Food Chains in America to Dine At

The 5 Most Expensive Cat Food Brands You Can Spoil Your Kitty With

The 6 Best eCommerce Platforms for Small Businesses

The 10 Worst Mistakes an Entrepreneur Can Make

The 5 Most OP Characters in League of Legends to Carry Games and Crush Foes With

The 5 Best Foods to Eat Before Running that Will Help You Pound the Pavement

10 Glaring Plot Holes in The Walking Dead that a Zombie-Filled Bus Could Drive Through

The 5 Biggest Celebrity Stoners Who Love Their Reefer

The 10 Most Overrated Movies Of All Time by Out-of-Touch Critics

Top 6 Least Expensive Cruise Destinations For 2015 that Will Take You to Paradise

10 States with Lowest Substance Abuse Rates in America

The 14 Most Watched TV Finales Ever

The 10 Best Selling Role Playing Games of All Time for PC

10 Most Influential Papers In Economics

Top 8 Biggest Charities in the US

10 Worst Celebrity Career Moves Ever

Top 10 Best Paid Tennis Stars in the World

Top 6 Cities For The Ultra Rich to Live in Comfort

10 Cities with High Demand for Nurses

6 of the Worst Greeting Card Messages Ever Crafted

How to Make Money in ArcheAge and Build Your Empire

10 Foods To Eat To Lower Cholesterol Levels

The 10 Most Hated Television Characters of All Time

The 30 Worst Halloween Costume Ideas Ever Brought to Horrible Life

10 Vocational Skills in Demand Today with Jobs Waiting to be Filled

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!