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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.
Nearly seven out of every 10 stocks rose on Monday, the last full day of trading before Christmas Day on Wednesday. It was the fourth straight day of gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) , which has been riding high since the Federal Reserve's decision to reign in its monthly asset purchases by $10 billion. The so-called "taper" is a vote of confidence in the U.S. recovery, and today corporate America received more good news, as Apple finalized a long-awaited deal with China Mobile, making the iPhone available to hundreds of millions of new potential customers. The Dow rallied 73 points, or 0.5%, to end at 16,294.
Entertainment giant Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) ended as one of the Dow's top performers on the day, gaining 1.2% after naming Twitter co-founder and renowned entrepreneur Jack Dorsey to its board of directors. Dorsey, much like Tesla's Elon Musk, has emerged as one of the business world's most brilliant young stars in the last decade. A billionaire before age 40 and winner of The Wall Street Journal's Innovator of the Year award for technology in 2012, he also started the mobile payment system Square. In all, it's hard to blame Wall Street for applauding Disney's move today.
Shares of Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD ) surged 5% Monday after extending its deal with vitamin and nutrition retailer GNC last week. In an effort to distinguish itself from other traditional drugstores, Rite Aid has taken a unique approach, positioning itself as a one-stop shop for a variety of health-related products and services, from diagnostic machines to eye care to traditional pharmacy offerings. The stock sure hasn't seemed to mind the strategy, having soared 285% so far this year. The recently renewed partnership will keep a GNC retail presence in Rite Aid locations through 2019.
It's amazing what a few sentences of text can do to a stock. Shares of the Greek shipping company DryShips (NASDAQ: DRYS ) also rallied with the help of a press release, adding 6.5% today after announcing the arrival of a new drillship to its fleet. Calling DryShips a "shipping company" is a bit of a misnomer, as its subsidiary Ocean Rig is in the deepwater drilling business. Investors cheered the addition of the new drillship -- which is already getting down and dirty off the shores of Angola -- to Ocean Rig's fleet, which boasts just 11 vessels in total.