Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Stocks are moving higher as investors balance positive news for homebuilders and insurers against worries about weak first-quarter earnings reports.
A $1.3 billion deal between Pulte Inc. and rival Centex Corp. is providing a glimmer of hope that the stricken homebuilding industry may be getting back on its feet.
And word that the government may soon extend a lifeline to troubled life insurers is lifting shares in those companies.
Investors are still anxious ahead of earnings reports coming out in the coming days and are worried that Alcoa Inc.'s bigger-than-expected loss signals more dismal results ahead.
At midday, the Dow Jones industrials are up 41 to 7,831. The Standard & Poor's 500 index is up 7 to 822, and the Nasdaq composite index is up 20 to 1,582.