A Huge Vote Looms for Boeing, and Ford Unveils the 2015 Lincoln MKC

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.

With earnings season coming to an end, investors are again turning their head to the Fed's plan for its bond-purchasing program. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will be addressing educators in Washington, D.C., tonight and will take questions afterward, and investors are hoping for any information regarding the curtailing of the Fed's stimulus. With that in mind, here are some stocks moving on company-specific information today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) trades flat.

Today's a big day for Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) and the 31,000 local members of the International Association of Machinists, who face a landmark vote on whether to accept Boeing's offer. The eight-year contract extension to build Boeing's next-generation 777X would provide jobs to the state of Washington, but the deal significantly cuts pension and other benefits.

If the union members vote against the deal, they risk prompting Boeing to take the production of its 777X to another site -- South Carolina has seemingly emerged as a secondary option. That result could be disastrous for the local area: Boeing's plant in Everett employs almost 39,000 people, and that could be cut in half in a few years' time if Boeing doesn't produce its 777X in Washington.

On the other hand, if the union accepts Boeing's offer, it would secure the 777X production for another two decades and protect an estimated 56,000 jobs. That's a big deal. So far investors have shrugged off the development as negotiations continue to heat up, but if a deal isn't worked out, it could lead to some volatile trading, as investors want to avoid the sort of budget overruns and production delays seen with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

Ford's 2015 Lincoln MKC. Photo credit: Ford

Outside of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Ford (NYSE: F  ) unveiled the newest member of its Lincoln luxury vehicle lineup: the 2015 MKC. It's a good move by Ford, which plans to focus on reviving the all-but-dead luxury brand with the same intensity it took to revive its namesake Blue Oval brand. The 2015 Lincoln MKC will take aim at one of the fastest-growing segments in the automotive industry: compact premium crossovers. The MKC will go on sale in the U.S. in late spring or early summer of next year and will hit the markets at just under $34,000.

"As a challenger luxury brand, entering this segment is a natural next step for us," said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales, service, and Lincoln, in a statement according to Automotive News. He predicted that the MKC "will change the way people think about Lincoln."

Ford will continue its strategy of using its four-cylinder EcoBoost, which has proven to be very popular with consumers. Initially the MKC will be launched with two options: the entry-level 2.0-liter EcoBoost and the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost; unlike most competitors, it won't offer a V-6 option. What investors don't want to see is a launch debacle like the supply constraints that caused supplies of the MKZ to be months late to dealerships, dampening sales. Investors hope the MKC will help improve declining Lincoln brand sales and open doors for Lincoln in China, the world's largest automotive market.

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