Queue the balloons, the Dow did it! The four-day losing streak is over. Was today a legitimate end to the QE3 rally hangover, or just a simple reversion to the mean? Likely a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B. However, the Spanish budget is coming into focus in a way that features spending cuts over tax increases. Harsh austerity will continue to depress the Spanish economy but, hopefully, no new taxes equals no new riots. Here, at home, we saw a rosier initial claims report than anticipated, and jobs growth was revised upwards. Signs of growth for our struggling economy are always welcome.
Of course, broad market movements in a time frame of less than a week shouldn’t alter your investment thesis for individual equities. Let’s check in on the headlines and focus in on some big movers.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) finished the day with a solid 72 point, or 0.5%, gain but, despite bucking its losing streak, it still underperformed the two other major indexes. The S&P 500 closed up just under 1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq posted a strong a 1.4% increase. Apparently, all the headlines that focused on volatility returning jumped the gun, as VelocityShares Daily 2x VIX (NYSE: TVIX ) , the exchange-traded note, saw a 14% plunge on the day.
On the Dow, no one could top General Electric’s (NYSE: GE ) 2.9% increase. GE is in the news for landing contracts to the tune of $1.2 billion, after the debut of its new energy-efficient gas-powered turbine. But what really pushed shares higher was CEO Jeffery Immelt declaring that the industrials segment would see 10% organic growth for the next two years. That is significant for a company the size of GE.
Next up, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) saw a 1.9% increase, after debuting a new tablet-based processer running Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. Intel has been largely shut out of the tablet arena, as its thirsty processors are ill-equipped to handle the limited battery life of mobile devices. However, as computing becomes increasingly mobile, Intel needs to adapt, or get left behind.
Speaking of a tech company in danger of getting left behind, Blackberry maker Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM ) reported earnings after the close and, for a change, shares soared an impressive 20%! Before anyone gets excited that RIM is back, it’s more akin to losing less badly than anticipated. RIM still finished with a quarterly loss, but revenue increased sequentially, and shipments were up. It may be ugly year over year, but the company added roughly $100 million in cash for the quarter. What really matters for the future of the company is that its new Blackberry 10 devices be a hit with consumers. Like Intel, and for that matter, most tech companies, it is innovate or die.
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