Welcome to day 10 of the government shutdown -- exactly one week from the point when things could go into uncharted territory if the debt ceiling isn't raised and the U.S. defaults. In typical eyebrow-raising fashion, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has shrugged off logic and bounced up 1.59% for one of its best days in weeks. Perhaps investors are optimistic regarding House Republicans' plan to pass a six-week extension to the debt ceiling -- although kicking the can down the road doesn't strike me as a valid long-term solution.
Aside from the political turmoil on Capitol Hill, let's take a look at some of the biggest winners in the Dow today.
Nike (NYSE: NKE ) , fresh off of its quarterly earnings beat, had an all-day investor meeting Wednesday in which executives outlined the company's future growth potential, sending the stock up more than 3% today. While Nike has witnessed a surge in North America growth, due to increasing basketball business, China has been slowing.
"China is in reset mode, but we're really focused on the great position we have there," Nike CEO Mark Parker said, according to the Associated Press. "It remains one of our biggest growth areas."
Regardless of the current weakness in China, Nike plans to grow revenue from $25 billion in fiscal 2013 to as much as $30 billion by fiscal 2015 -- a nearly 20% increase. By fiscal 2017 the company plans to rake in $36 billion. It aims to achieve these numbers through three important segments: basketball, running, and women's footwear and apparel.
Boeing (NYSE: BA ) is another of the Dow's biggest winners today, up 2.8%. The aviation giant delivers its quarterly results later this month, and investors seem to be optimistic, as the stock price sits near its 52-week high. Boeing released its deliveries for the quarter, which were up one airplane from the same period of 2012. It will be interesting to see if the company has improved margins on the 787 Dreamliner, which has struggled to remain profitable during production delays and budget overruns.
Some investors are worried that future government defense spending, which could be slashed by $1 trillion over the next nine years, will drag down Boeing's earnings. I don't believe that to be the case, as growth in its commercial aviation segment should be enough to offset a weaker defense segment.
In a sign of the times, Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) has officially announced it will no longer provide the unique paper stock certificates that have served as collectors' items and a means of educating kids about the stock market. GiveAShare.com sells Disney's paper stock in a frame for $150, compared to a regular Disney share that currently sells for $65.50. It's not shocking news, as most companies have long since made the expense-reducing move to electronic shares.
Although Disney's unique paper stock heads toward extinction, the company is obviously unchanged. Its parks and resorts segment has rebounded strongly since the recession, and Disney remains one of the most powerful brands in the world. Pixar continues to be a valuable asset, and Disney's large library of characters and movie content reduces the volatility of a hit and miss film business -- even with the recent Lone Ranger flop. Look for Disney to remain a strong company that excels at returning value to shareholders.
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