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.
In the last few days of any calendar year, institutional investors are known to tweak their portfolios to make year-end holdings look nice and presentable, before starting all over again with a clean slate in January. But investors were pretty content with their portfolios Friday, as reflected by the anemic volume and minuscule changes in the stock market today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI), for instance, saw about half the volume of an average day, losing 1 point, or less than 0.1%, to end at 16,478.
The Dow couldn't have been much flatter Friday, with 14 stocks gaining ground, an equal number ending in the red, and two trading evenly. Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) stock fell 0.4%, an unremarkable haircut preceded by a year of monstrous, 50% gains for shareholders. While Disney investors aren't seeing much magic right now in the box office with Saving Mr. Banks -- a movie about how Walt Disney himself hounded the creator of Mary Poppins to let the company immortalize the nanny in a film -- shareholders have plenty to look forward to. Between Star Wars, ESPN, Hulu, ABC, theme parks, and many other entertainment properties, this company is a verifiable cash cow.
Grocer Roundy's (NYSE: RNDY) saw a more meaningful swing in the price of its shares today, slumping 4.5% after Credit Suisse kept the stock at a neutral rating. The big news out of Roundy's this month was its decision to purchase 11 Safeway locations in Chicago in the plans of converting the stores into high-dollar Mariano's; the stock is up 17% in the last month. Credit Suisse admitted the shrewdness of the deal, raising the price target to $10, while insisting the recent run-up leaves little room for an attractive upside.
Finally, shares of music streaming service Pandora (NYSE: P) slumped 3.6% Friday, as new, high-multiple, hot Internet stocks took a tumble into the weekend. The newest, hottest, and most notable decliner in that group today was Twitter, which cratered more than 13% after a downgrade from Macquarie Capital citing the sudden ascent of the stock in the time since its IPO last month. Pandora isn't anything like Twitter, but does incorporate social media in its services, and has seen its stock triple in 2013 despite burgeoning competition and a frustrating inability to turn a profit.
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