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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.
The concerns hanging over the market didn't really change today as conflict in Syria remains unresolved and the plans among central banks about how to handle the withdrawal from their extraordinary stimulus measures to help bolster global economic activity still aren't firmly defined. Nevertheless, investors decided to accentuate the positive today, sending the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) to a 140-point gain. Bond yields and oil prices both eased somewhat, reflecting slightly easing tensions about the geopolitical situation in the Middle East.
Among the Dow's 30 components, 29 rose, with Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) being the sole standout. Verizon's shares sank almost 1% as investors braced for setting up its financing for its proposed $130 billion buyout of partner Vodafone's stake in the Verizon Wireless joint venture. This afternoon, the company priced its bank-loan financing arrangements, paying between 1.25 and 1.5 percentage points above LIBOR on a one-year revolving debt facility and three- and five-year term loans. Verizon is also planning to turn to the bond market for as much as $50 billion more in debt financing, with the potential for six bond issues ranging from three- to 30-year maturities as soon as later this week. Verizon managed to preserve its investment-grade bond rating despite getting downgraded after the Vodafone deal was announced.
Outside the Dow, Frontline (NYSE: FRO ) fell more than 3%. Tough conditions in the tanker industry have persisted for years, with the latest bad news for the industry coming from weak Chinese oil imports from West Africa. Given the length of that trade route, weak demand has had a big impact on Frontline's business, with traders expecting more declines in share prices ahead.
Finally, Hanwha SolarOne (NASDAQ: HQCL ) dropped almost 7% today after announcing its quarterly results this morning. Revenue rose 10% on an almost 40% jump in solar module shipments, but gross margin expansion was insufficient to avoid larger operating losses than Hanwha suffered in the year-ago quarter. The company also gave guidance for no further growth in module volume for the third quarter. In light of gains throughout much of the rest of the industry, as the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEMKT: TAN ) picked up 2.4%, Hanwha's losses were particularly ugly.
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