Why the Dow Missed Out on a Black Friday Record

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.

Until very late in the post-holiday-shortened trading day, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) looked like it would post its sixth consecutive record close. But a last-minute downdraft sent the Dow down 11 points on the day, defying Microsoft's  (NASDAQ: MSFT  )  gains as Boeing  (NYSE: BA  ) and Verizon  (NYSE: VZ  ) weighed on the average. Even with the small drop today, the Dow posted a solid 3.5% rise for the month of November.

Microsoft gained 1.4% to lead the Dow's winners, with the company's Xbox One gaming console helping to draw consumers into electronics retailers this holiday weekend. Analysts don't all agree on whether the Xbox One is destined to be a profit driver for Microsoft or a loss leader, but what's clear is that many investors are relying on success from the Xbox One to justify their continued faith in the company as a whole. Therefore, it makes sense for Microsoft to push the console even if it ends up being a money loser for the company. 

Verizon fell 0.6% as the company learned this week that it would end up being replaced as the host of the Obamacare Healthcare.gov website. Hewlett-Packard  (NYSE: HPQ  ) will take over the hosting responsibilities from the telecom giant and, although the amount of revenue involved is inconsequential, the damage to the company's reputation could prove to be more significant.

Boeing lost about a third of a percent. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon decided today to call a special legislative session in order to try to put together an incentive package to lure the aerospace giant to move its 777X production program to the state. Boeing already has a presence in Missouri, but the scale of the 777X program makes offering special new incentives a viable option for the state. Missouri won't be the only state bidding for the plant, with states including California, Texas, and several others reportedly interested in trying to lure Boeing within their borders. 

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