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.
The stock market has dropped moderately this morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) down 57 points just after the opening bell. Still, while the broader market may be down, new data out this morning points to a happy holiday for a few companies, including Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI ) . Meanwhile, Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM ) is struggling but sees a big turnaround ahead in 2014.
"Cyber Monday" sales rose 16% this year to $2.29 billion, according to a report by Adobe. Over the wider holiday weekend, Internet shopping leapt by 26% to reach $7.4 billion. Sales of smartphones and tablets saw the biggest spike, with purchases made on mobile devices rising 80% this year. Besides the obvious winners like Amazon.com, which is expected to boost sales by 22% in the fourth quarter, the Cyber Monday data also points to a strong holiday for Apple: The Mac maker's iPad tablets accounted for a full 10% of all online shopping traffic. Android devices were well behind that mark, with just 1% of the online-shopping share. This morning Apple's stock also received an upgrade by UBS, which sees earnings growth reaching double-digits next year. The stock is up 2% in early trading.
Yum! Brands stock is in focus after the company said its same-store sales were down 8% in China last month after adjusting for a chicken promotion that temporarily boosted KFC's results there. The fast-food company has seen its profit tank by 38% through the first three quarters of the year, mostly thanks to its struggles in China. Still, Yum! said last night that it expects a "strong bounceback" in 2014 that includes a rise of "at least" 20% in earnings. The company is also preparing to roll out a new breakfast launch at Taco Bell locations in the United States that could lift sales. Yum! Brand's stock is down 3.2%.
Finally, Sony said this morning that sales of its PlayStation 4 device just passed 2.1 million units after it widened its launch beyond the initial markets of Canada and the U.S. Those two markets alone booked 1 million device sales quickly after launch. Sony isn't expected to make much profit from the new consoles, but that's not true for game publishers. As Wal-Mart did earlier this week, Sony highlighted Activision Blizzard's (NASDAQ: ATVI ) Call of Duty: Ghosts title as one of the blockbuster games that players are snapping up with their new consoles, which suggests that Activision's key franchise is holding up well in the console transition.
Go beyond the daily swings
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