Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
U.S. stock markets followed Asian and European stocks higher today after former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers pulled out of the running for Federal Reserve chair over the weekend. Earlier today, fellow Fool Alex Dumortier put together a good outline of why the market likes new frontrunner Janet Yellen better than Summers, but the short story is that investors think more easy money is on the way. As of 3:15 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is up 0.76%, while the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC ) has risen 0.53%.
Leading the Dow's charge with a 3.8% leap is Boeing (NYSE: BA ) . There's growing speculation that Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle will be chosen to renew South Korea's fighter jet line after Boeing's bid was the only one to stay under the country's $7.64 billion budget. The jet doesn't have the stealth capabilities of competitors, but economy may win out in this case.
The stock also got a boost from an analyst at Sterne, Agee & Leach, who reiterated a buy rating on the stock and raised its price target from $124 to $164. Analyst Peter Arment thinks that 787 deliveries will pick up in 2015 and 2016 and that the company's results will be further enhanced by the 737 MAX in 2017. In the short term, analyst upgrades can buoy a stock, and that appears to be helping today.
General Electric (NYSE: GE ) , which provides Boeing with some of its aircraft turbines, has jumped 1.6% today to place second on the Dow. The company could get a lift from 787 sales, and GE Capital will also benefit if Yellen keeps long-term rates low. GE is trying to reduce exposure to its financing unit, but that's still a big part of the company, and low rates will help reduce borrowing costs.
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