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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.
If the early days of December are any indication, the temperature isn't the only thing that'll be cooling down this month. The stock market is also edging lower as Wall Street takes its foot off the gas pedal and locks in some gains in what has turned out to be a remarkable year for equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has soared more than 21% in 2013 as the bull market approaches its fifth year and a steady economic recovery continued to reward investors. But markets fear the Federal Reserve may ease up on its loose money policies if things improve too quickly -- a fear strong enough to drive the Dow down 94 points, or 0.6%, to end at 15,914.
Disney (NYSE: DIS ) stock, which helped propel the Dow to record highs this year, also ended as one of the index's biggest decliners today. The stock boasts 40% returns to date this year, but shares of the entertainment giant couldn't weather the analyst downgrade today. Disney fell 1.4% as the stock dropped from a "buy" to a "neutral" rating in the eyes of B. Riley & Co. analysts. Disney's a remarkable company in my book, one with a diversified portfolio of entertainment assets more or less guaranteed to churn out hoards of cash for many years to come.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE: KKD ) , while also technically in the services sector, wasn't churning out anything but pain for its shareholders Tuesday. While the company's delicious doughnuts, smothered in gooey sugar and strong hints of guilt, continue to lure helpless customers into stores, Krispy Kreme's prospects repelled Wall Street today. Though the sweet-maker is growing revenue, earnings, and same-store sales, investors expected a more voracious appetite for Krispy Kreme abroad. Earnings-per-share projections for next fiscal year came in at the low end of analyst expectations, sending shares spiraling 20.2% lower today.
Lastly, shares in Midwest grocer Roundy's (NYSE: RNDY ) surged 6.7% after the company announced a dramatic shift in strategy that could prove lucrative for long-term investors. Roundy's, a tiny company by Wall Street's standards with a market cap just over $400 million, was dishing out a robust 5.7% dividend to shareholders -- until yesterday. Instead, the grocer plans to use the cash to finance its acquisition of 11 Chicago Safeway stores, which will then be converted to Mariano's Fresh Markets, an organic grocery chain.
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