IBM Helps Keep the S&P Afloat

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 Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) and S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) are largely frozen so far today. Blue-chip stock IBM (NYSE: IBM  ) has jumped 1.5%. The federal government is off for Veterans Day, so the Federal Reserve is making no asset purchases.

As of 1:45 p.m. EST, the Dow is up a mere 17 points to 15,778. The S&P 500 is unchanged at 1,771.

IBM's move comes despite no real news today. The company announced last week that CFO Mark Loughridge will retire at the end of the year. After nearly 10 years as chief financial officer, Loughridge will reach IBM's customary retirement age of 60.

In other IBM news, the tech giant on Friday announced it had patented a technique that allows data center administrators to automatically adjust server workloads to lower-power systems, thus saving electricity. IBM's largest competitor in the server market is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HP  ) , which is up more than 2% today. HP has been pushing its Project Moonshot servers hard to compete on lower cost. Friday's release from IBM shows the company is also doing all it can to innovate and lower costs in the server market.

While the U.S. government is closed for the day and things are quiet on Wall Street, the Chinese Communist Party is in the third day of a major four-day meeting. At the meeting, known as the Third Plenum, the Communist Party is expected to lay out a plan of economic reforms aimed at making the nation's economy more consumer-focused and less dependent on government and infrastructure spending.

China's economic growth has slowed, and there appears to be a growing property bubble across the country and a lack of willingness to face reality among government-backed lenders. We will have to wait until tomorrow to see what direction the government decides to go.

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