Markets Rise Despite Nasdaq Glitch

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

This afternoon, the technology-heavy Nasdaq halted trading for three hours for what company officials are calling a technical glitch. At about noon Eastern Daylight Time, the exchange sent an alert to traders saying that trading would be stopped due to a problem with the quote dissemination system. At 3:05 p.m., Nasdaq officials said that trading would resume in phases starting at 3:10 p.m. and would be fully operational by 3:25 p.m. For the most part, the reopening went smoothly except that Nasdaq's own stock fell 3.4% for the day.  

The index, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , and the S&P 500, however, all rose today. The Dow managed to move higher for the first time in seven sessions, gaining 66 points, or 0.44%, and now sits at 14,963. The S&P 500 climbed 0.86% and the Nasdaq, despite being closed for a few hours, jumped 1.08% for the day. Despite the strong moves higher by the indexes, a few of the Dow's components bucked the trend and fell into the red this afternoon.

Shares of Verizon (NYSE: VZ  ) slid lower by 0.53% after it was announced that the company signed a deal with CBS to air the network's channels. The financial terms weren't disclosed, but estimates put the deal at around $100 million and many believe it is a very similar deal to what CBS has offered Time Warner Cable, which has yet to agree on the terms of the contract and sign a deal. Time Warner began blacking out CBS channels almost three weeks ago as the two sides continue discussions. Verizon shareholders may have sold off their holdings because they felt that, like Time Warner, Verizon should have held off on signing a deal while pressure on CBS builds. 

Technology giant Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO  ) lost 0.25% after announcing that it opened a new center in Brazil today. The plan is that the location in Rio de Janerio will help the company increase sales and services to government and corporate clients. The problem is that the real, Brazil's currency, has been plummeting against the dollar. In the past three months, it has lost 16%, the most of any emerging market currencies tracked by Bloomberg. This makes the company's products more expensive in Brazil, which will likely cause the company to lower margins on its products in order to stay competitive within that market. Cisco's head of development and sales said during an interview today that "In challenging times, or rocky periods, that's when you can actually make your biggest gains." This is a clear indication that this new location is a big risk and one that could turn out badly for the organization.  

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ  ) lost 0.61% as investors prepare for the stock to go ex-dividend tomorrow. At the time of the company's next dividend distribution, it will be paying out $0.66 per share, so when the markets open tomorrow, the stock price will be adjusted downward by that amount. The company currently has a dividend yield of 3% and is one of the S&P 500's Dividend Aristocrats (which means it has increased its dividend payout amount for at least the past 25 years). Buy-and-hold shareholders don't care too much about a company's ex-dividend date. Traders who are constantly getting in and out of positions likely sold off their holdings in J&J today, however, because they don't want to take that $0.66 hit tomorrow. They are unlikely to be holding the stock when it's time to receive the dividend payment, anyway.

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