Microsoft and Visa Pull Dow in Opposite Direction

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is having a pretty slow Friday, lacking economic or earnings news that often roil markets day to day. However, two significant movers are pulling the index in opposite directions today.

Microsoft's CEO search continues
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) is the Dow's laggard today, dropping 1.13% at 3:25 p.m. EST. There were rumors that Qualcomm COO Steve Mollenkopf had become a top candidate to replace Steve Ballmer as CEO, but Qualcomm put the kibosh on that talk by naming him its own next CEO.  

The search continues for Microsoft as two top picks, Mollenkopf and Ford CEO Alan Mulally, appear out of the running. I'm not sure if either would have been the best CEO in Redmond, or if the board is actually honing in on someone else, but the longer the search takes the more uncertainty there is for Microsoft. One of a CEO's key roles is setting strategy and at this key juncture for Microsoft a vision beyond Ballmer's is needed at the top.

Visa's settlement approved
On the other end of the Dow is Visa (NYSE: V  ) , which is up 2.17% today. Visa and MasterCard (NYSE: MA  ) received a judge's approval for their $7.25 billion settlement over a class action suit from merchants over transaction fees. The damages will likely be closer to $5.7 billion after roughly 8,000 merchants dropped out of the damages portion of the agreement.  

This unloads a small cloud over Visa and MasterCard and also limits potential future lawsuits. It's extremely difficult to prove collusion in pricing, and even after years of litigation this settlement won't do a lot of damage to either company. Long term, I think both are great options for investors, simply because merchants have little to no power against the credit card networks they've created.

Dow stocks all investors need
If you're looking for some long-term investing ideas that don't come with the same volatility often seen on the market, you're invited to check out The Motley Fool's brand-new special report, "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need." It's absolutely free, so simply click here now and get your copy today.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

DocumentId: 2764672, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 4/19/2014 5:27:57 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement