Markets are broadly lower today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) tumbling more than 100 points as of 11:40 a.m. EST. There were no major economic releases to explain the weakness; sell-offs in Europe and Asia may have simply carried over to U.S. markets.
Retail sales data comes in better than expected
The Redbook Index, which is designed to give a sense of retail-sales data, came in positive on Tuesday. On a year-over-year basis, sales jumped 4.9%. The index is computed by sampling the sales data from some 9,000 stores.
But the index generally carries little weight and has a limited impact on the broader market. Unlike other major economic indicators, the figure is not generally the subject of economist forecasts.
Intel's tablet plans get a boost from Applebee's
Although Intel shares are up year to date, the maker of PC chips has been hit by a broader trend in the industry: the move toward mobile-computing devices. Unlike traditional PCs, most tablets and smartphones are powered by chips based on designs from ARM Holdings, Intel's competitor.
Intel is fighting hard to establish its presence in the mobile market and has seen some limited success -- a few Samsung tablets and a Lenovo-made smartphone sport Intel chips. The company scored a small victory this week when restaurant chain Applebee's announced it would be equipping tables in its restaurants with tablets powered by Intel processors. Admittedly, it's a small victory, but it's a sign Intel's mobile strategy is heading in a positive direction.
Voxeljet announces launch of new model
It's been a rough ride for Voxeljet shareholders in recent weeks. The 3-D printing company has been under siege from short-sellers, most notably Citron Research. But shares are rallying back on Tuesday following the company's announcement of the VX2000's launch.
The VX2000 is an industrial 3-D printer intended for use in the automotive and aerospace sectors. It fills the gap between the company's other models, allowing customers to print larger objects than they could've with Voxeljet's smaller printers without being as big as the larger VX4000.
The announcement hardly seems earth-shattering and may not justify a rally of almost 6%. But with the stock being beaten so badly in recent sessions -- it's down more than 26% since Nov. 20 -- any positive news could serve as a catalyst to provide some relief.
Groupon benefits from Black Friday
Groupon's rally isn't as significant as Voxeljet's -- it's up just 3.5% at the time of writing -- but the news seems more substantial. Groupon announced Tuesday that this Black Friday was a record for the company, with the four-day weekend amounting to its biggest four-day-sales period ever. In total, sales were up 30% from last year.
Most of those sales were likely coming from Groupon Goods, which has been a key area of focus for Groupon this year. Although Groupon still sells local daily deals, the company also sells discounted goods at bargain prices. With doubts surrounding the long-term viability of the daily deals business model, success in selling physical goods should be seen as a positive sign.
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