1 Man Moving the Dow This Morning

This morning, equity markets look to build on a massive 2.4% gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI  ) yesterday. The gains were driven by indications from European policymakers that coordinated action, when needed, was likely to take place in a "firm and timely manner" to stem the effects of the continent's debt crisis. Investors were also encouraged by commentary from various Federal Reserve Bank presidents, with one suggesting that a need for additional monetary easing is "on the table," should weakness in Europe impact U.S. economic growth in a more meaningful way.

In overseas trading, Asian markets were mostly higher following news from China's central bank that they are lowering the country's benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percentage points. While the Nikkei and Hang Seng traded higher, China's primary index, the Shanghai Composite, traded slightly lower on concerns over decelerating growth in the country. European markets are broadly higher this morning following the rate cut, with the FTSE 100 index up 1.5% in recent trading.

Let's take a look at how U.S. futures markets are moving as of about 8 a.m. EDT this morning.

Futures Index

Gain / Loss

Gain / Loss %

Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average  61  0.5% 12,480
Nasdaq  13  0.5%  2,563
S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC  )  8 0.6% 1,323

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

While U.S. markets appear headed higher, we'll have to wait for one of today's largest events to unfold before knowing its final direction. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will be under the investor equivalent of an electron microscope when he addresses the Congressional Joint Economic Committee at 10 a.m. EDT this morning. His comments will be meticulously examined for any hints supporting or refuting the statements his Fed colleagues made yesterday. When Ben speaks, markets listen, so don't be surprised by any large swings in trading later this morning.

Moving away from the macro picture, let's take a look at some notable company-specific news making headlines.

Let the Map Wars Begin!
In company news, Google and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) are in the midst of the first battle in their cartographic war. In a pre-emptive strike of sorts, Google unveiled the rollout of 3-D images in its Google Earth software, with a Google Maps rollout soon to follow. This comes the week prior to Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, where it intends to introduce homegrown mapping software that will replace Google's wares in devices running Apple's newest operating system. The move comes as the two companies do battle for dominance in the mobile arena, with Google expected to claim about 60% of mobile devices through its Android operating system in 2012, compared to Apple at about 20% with its exclusive iOS platform. Despite the raging successes of its iPhone, research firm IDC released a report yesterday predicting that Apple would eventually cede the No. 2 spot to Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Windows Mobile platform, with Windows-based phones expected to exceed 19% market share by 2016. Given the fickle nature of technology and consumer preferences, I'll believe it when I see it, IDC.

Dude, where's my trade?
Nasdaq OMX Group
CEO Robert Greifeld made news yesterday afternoon by offering an official apology for system malfunctions that contributed to a wealth of problems during the IPO of Facebook (Nasdaq: FB  ) on May 18. The apology came in conjunction with the exchange's plans to allocate $40 million to its clients, including various market makers and brokerage firms, to make up for various malfunctions that led to a 30-minute delay in initial trading, along with other problems that kept customers from making transactions and confirming that they took place. The apology and compensation don't help retail investors, though, who will have to go through their specific brokerage firms for any early trading claims related to the snafu.

The worst thing about the Facebook debacle is the impact it has had on thousands of unassuming retail investors, many of whom were attracted to the stock based solely on their experiences as users. As many of us know, taking that approach alone is a losing strategy over the long term, and it won't help investors in their quest to build long-term wealth. What will help? The investing habits described in this report, as well as the three stock picks our analyst have handpicked for readers. So take a big step toward better investing by reading this feature report, free of charge today, by simply clicking here.

At the time of this writing Brenton Flynn owned no shares in the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook. The Fool owns shares of Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Microsoft. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (9)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 07, 2012, at 9:11 AM, nancydog wrote:

    Hah! In Feb 09, I spent a bundle (for me, anyway) on stocks which looked vastly oversold, and wanted to hold for the long run. Haven't sold any, yet and have reinvested dividends. I saved the remaining for a rainy investment day. In the past year, I've been buying convertible bonds and conv. preferreds. The interest pileup is enjoyable, and within 5-6 years, I get a nice gain on the price of these depressed securities I got at a discount. Over a period of 50 years, I've learned that the market goes in two directions, but selling because of where it is at the moment, when I feel the stock has long term value, is just plain stupid. Those who trade in panic, are losers.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1905524, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/2/2014 1:17:24 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement