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A relatively calm week ends with a rather calm Friday, as investors had little economic data to trade on and earnings season begins to come to an end. Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) rose by 35 points, or 0.24%, the S&P 500 rose by 0.43%, and the Nasdaq increased by 0.80%. While the Nasdaq remained in the black throughout the trading session, the S&P 500 didn't cross the breakeven mark for good until around 1 p.m. EDT, and it took the Dow until just minutes left in the trading session to pull itself out of the red.
Only seven of the Dow's 30 components ended the day in the red, and four of them moved lower primarily due to lower commodity prices. You can read about the other three losers below.
Shares of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ) were down as much as 0.81%, but ended the day just 0.16% lower. The likely catalyst was a letter from two board members asking shareholders to keep Jamie Dimon as chairman and CEO of the company. Today's plea comes after a number of proxy advisory firms have issued recommendations that the chairman and CEO positions be split and held by two individuals. While the letter came from just two members, JPMorgan's board of directors believes unanimously that Dimon should remain in both roles.
Despite a rating and price upgrade yesterday, shares of Boeing (NYSE: BA ) moved lower today. Analyst Zafa Khan from Societe Generale changed Boeings rating from sell to hold and increased his price target from $86 per share to $95. Khan believes now that the 787 has been approved for flight and the company is on schedule to produce 10 a month, Boeing should be able to generate strong cash flow. Khan also stated that with the generated income, it will be able to maintain its current buyback program and likely continue dividend increases.
The only other Dow component that fell today was American Express (NYSE: AXP ) . Shares fell 0.19%, ostensibly on news that CFO Daniel Henry is planning to retire once a suitable replacement is found. My colleague Jessica Alling noted earlier today that this should come as no surprise considering the 63-year-old's age. Additionally, while shareholders never want to see turnover at the top, this is the best kind of turnover there is: someone simply ready to stop working, not being pushed out or leaving for another company.
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With big finance firms still trading at deep discounts to their historic norms, investors everywhere are wondering if this is the new normal or if finance stocks are a screaming buy today. The answer depends on the company, so to help figure out whether JPMorgan is a buy today, check out The Motley Fool's premium research report on the company. Click here now for instant access.