Watch stocks you care about
Your own personalized stock watchlist!
It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...
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 S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) continued its impressive run Wednesday, advancing for a seventh straight session. Wall Street cheered President Obama's televised national address last night, in which he confirmed that the U.S. will pursue diplomatic routes in addressing Syria's use of chemical weapons last month. The S&P added five points, or 0.3%, ending at 1,689. Unfortunately, three of the benchmark's components didn't have much to applaud today as they sold off heavily.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) , which boasts the largest market cap in the entire 500-stock index, plummeted 5.4% Wednesday as the fallout from yesterday's uninspiring company event continued. Today brought a vicious flurry of analyst downgrades, as the pricing of Apple's iPhone 5C, a plastic smartphone catering to a wider audience, was seen as being prohibitively expensive for emerging markets. Not only will the model cost more than $700 in China, but Apple failed to announce an expected deal with China Mobile.
Of course, a $420 billion company like Apple doesn't operate in a vacuum; it relies on a host of other partners -- from telecom providers to chipmakers and retailers -- to maintain and build its massive business. Conversely, Apple's partners often end up relying on its success for their own growth. Chipmaker Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ) is one of those companies. Apple's disastrously dull unveiling yesterday was so disappointing that it sent Qualcomm shares down 2.9% today. The slump was partially mitigated in after-hours trading, however, as Qualcomm's board approved a $5 billion stock buyback plan.
Lastly, shares of Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI ) shed 2.8% a day after a controversial analyst report on the pipeline company accused the business of blindly cutting maintenance costs to shell out cash to investors. The divisive report from a young Hedgeye Risk Management analyst has thrown Kinder Morgan stock into Wall Street's spotlight. A Hedgeye email to clients last week sent the stock down 6% after promising to expose major flaws in the business this week. The verdict's still out on whether the purported expose is true.
It's nice, to say the least, that companies like the Houston-based Kinder Morgan are playing a role in America's energy renaissance. Record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States' energy position, reducing our reliance on foreign oil. For this reason, The Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report "3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity. Click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free.