GE Defies a Dropping Dow

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is pulling back once again after yesterday's surge, falling just below the 14,000 mark it has flirted with over the past few weeks. As of 2:15 p.m. EST, the Dow has lost 45 points, or 0.32%, after hitting a five-year high yesterday. There isn't much activity among the Dow's members, and stocks are fairly evenly split between risers and laggards. However, a big sale has catapulted one conglomerated giant to the lead.

GE booms on NBC sale
General Electric
(NYSE: GE  ) won't let a slow market day stop its gains. Shares of the conglomerate are up 3.2% to lead the Dow after it sold its remaining stake in NBCUniversal to Comcast yesterday, a move that earned it $16.7 billion. GE had sold 51% of NBC Universal to Comcast in 2011, and this move completely rids GE of the network. It's one more step along GE's plan to rise from the recession, and the company plans to return about $18 billion to investors this year.

GE's the top stock on the Dow today, but others have managed to record small gains as well. Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) has seen shares rise 0.6% so far. While there's little news out on the company, shares in the consumer goods giant have soared to start 2013. The stock has risen 9.5% over that time period, and as the economy continues to climb back from the recession, more money in consumers' pockets can only help P&G rise further.

Meanwhile, McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) leads the Dow lower, with shares falling 1.3%. According to a report released today from AlixPartners, in 2013 diners plan to eat out less, spend less money on meals, and focus more on food quality. That's a bad sign for McDonald's, which recorded its first sales decline in almost 10 years back in November and could face pressure to continue growing. While the report expected traffic to restaurants to rise about 3% in the year, McDonald's will need to continue battling for customers in its competitive industry.

Finally, big pharma Merck (NYSE: MRK  ) has seen shares drop 0.9% courtesy of a Venezuelan currency devaluation, which has caused the company to lower its first-quarter profit expectations by $0.05 to a range of $0.76 to $0.78 per share. That's $0.08 to $0.10 less than analysts had projected, although according to Merck, the Venezuelan move won't affect its full-year earnings.

Interested in GE?
For GE, the recent financial crisis struck a blow, but management took advantage of the market's dip to make strategic bets in energy. If you're a GE investor, you need to understand how these bets could drive this company to become the world's infrastructure leader. You also need to be aware of the threats to GE's portfolio. To help, we're offering comprehensive coverage for investors in a premium report on General Electric, in which our industrials analyst breaks down GE's multiple businesses. You'll find reasons to buy or sell GE, and you'll receive continuing updates as major events unfold during the year. To get started, click here now.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

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.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

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: 2253485, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/25/2016 1:59:27 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...

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/23/2016 4:55 PM
^DJI $18261.45 Down -131.01 -0.71%
GE $29.89 Down -0.15 -0.50%
General Electric CAPS Rating: ****
MCD $117.17 Down -0.19 -0.16%
McDonald's CAPS Rating: ***
MRK $62.96 Down -0.06 -0.10%
Merck and Co. CAPS Rating: ****
PG $87.76 Down -1.23 -1.38%
Procter and Gamble CAPS Rating: ****