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.
After falling more than 145 points this morning, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) rallied back to end the day's session down just 58 points, or 0.39%. The earlier morning decline was likely the result of the ADP private sector jobs report, which indicated that only 166,000 new jobs were created in September and that August's reported 176,000 jobs had been revised lower to 159,000. These figures were certainly not what investors wanted to see, considering the federal government is shut down, meaning that roughly 800,000 U.S. workers are currently furloughed and possible looking for work.
Now let's take a look at a few of the Dow's components that helped pull the index lower today.
Shares of Visa (NYSE: V ) declined 0.72% despite announcing new enhancements to the credit card's security features. Visa's Advanced Authorization has been improved to now allow financial institutions to use more information so they can reliably monitor transactions and know which ones to decline in real time. This new enhancement should help reduce fraud by billions of dollars a year and, hopefully for Visa shareholders, make the card the preferred credit card of financial institutions worldwide.
Another Dow component that lost value despite good news about the company was McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) . Shares fell 0.88% after Bloomberg reported yesterday evening that a number of franchisees were rolling out a new electronic loyalty program, which allows customers to scan QR code and are then entered to win prizes. The report indicates that 570 stores will participate in the program. The program has been designed to appeal to a younger demographic and help increase sales at McDonald's locations, which have been struggling to grow same-store-sales numbers this year. While it seems new, it is probably very similar to McDonald's Monopoly game and other promotions it regularly runs -- the only difference is that this new loyalty promotion may stick around for the long run.
Shares of AT&T (NYSE: T ) also fell after the company announced that it would be taking on Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) as a competitor in the Internet and TV service provider space in Austin, Texas. AT&T announced that it will soon offer high-speed Internet service there, into which Google already has plans to go. AT&T's move, while bold and exciting, may end up being a poor decision. Since AT&T will probably attempt to turn a profit on the venture, Google will most likely not focus on how high the margins are from its Internet service.
We have seen this with Google a number of times in the past: The company moves into a new industry to offer a product customers can get from other providers, but it typically offers a better product at a cheaper price -- Android platform or Gmail sound familiar? -- so it can get customers tied into its other products and, most importantly, into its advertising base, which is where Google makes its money.
While the move makes sense on all levels for AT&T, it just simply may not be the best way for the company to grow revenues in either the short or long term.
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