Maybe Wall Street's distracted by the ultimate holiday gift we just found (the "Perfect Bacon Bowl" does sound pretty perfect) -- because the Dow (DJINDICES: ^DJI) dropped 68 points Thursday for its fifth straight loss. Now, investors are focused on the big November jobs report due Friday morning.
Getting rejected at a bar is tough. But getting rejected by someone to whom you want to offer a CEO position is tougher. The current CEO of Microsoft, Steve "Baller" Ballmer, is stepping down later next year, and one of the top replacement candidates is Ford CEO Alan Mulally (great smile). But on Thursday, Mulally pulled the "it's-not-you-it's-me," saying he won't leave Ol' Blue Ford in 2014. The slap dropped Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) stock 2.41%.
Ol' pals Ballmer and Mulally enjoy long walks on the beach and restructuring multinational companies. Microsoft still has a strong core Windows and Office software business, but has been looking for a leader to help compete with Apple's much cooler products. Ballmer's buddy Mulally could have at least temporarily filled that role, but now Wall Street is nervous that Microsoft is having trouble finding "The One" (someone get MSFT on Tinder).
3. EA video games shoot the stock in the foot
The takeaway is that Electronic Arts is big enough to survive the problem, but not diverse enough to get by unscathed. The sports games that dominate dormroom Toshiba screens, along with "Battle Field," make up half the company's annual sales. For analysts, the big question is whether competitor Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI) can deliver a knockout blow to "Battle Field" with its "Call of Duty" game, even as EA slashed prices for Thanksgiving.
- The Big November Non-Farm Payrolls Report (new jobs and unemployment rate)
- Reuters/UMich Consumer Sentiment Survey
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