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.
Stocks closed ever so slightly lower Friday, as the Dow technically broke its six-day winning streak despite losing just a single point on the day. Bond yields closed above the 3% level for the first time in two years, but many stocks kept climbing, with Barracuda Networks (NYSE: CUDA ) , Molycorp (NASDAQOTH: MCPIQ ) , and Sprint (NYSE: S ) among the biggest winners.
Barracuda Networks jumped almost 20%, boosting its gains for the week to 38%. The stock continued to climb following the company's announcement Monday that it had made its enterprise-grade NG Firewall available for use in connection with Amazon.com's (NASDAQ: AMZN ) Amazon Web Services cloud-computing platform. With the product now included on the Amazon Web Services marketplace, investors hope that customers will use NG Firewall to protect their cloud-based infrastructure. Given the recent high-profile breaches of confidential data, the value of cloud-security products like Barracuda's could continue to rise, helping boost confidence in the company's future prospects.
Molycorp soared 15%. Despite facing substantial challenges in its operations, the rare-earth metals producer made its way onto a Barclays list of small-cap stocks that could benefit from a seasonal play known as the January effect. Bulls hope that the company will overcome weak rare-earth prices and make expansion plans pay off. Given the more than 85% plunge shares have suffered since early 2012, today's move upward is just a drop in the bucket toward a full-scale recovery for Molycorp stock.
Sprint rose more than 8% on hopes that the No. 3 wireless carrier will join forces with T-Mobile US (NASDAQ: TMUS ) . Reports of discussions among various high-profile players, including SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, have led many to believe that Sprint would be better off integrated with T-Mobile, arguably better able to compete with its two larger rivals in the U.S. market. Given T-Mobile's aggressive pricing strategies that have forced larger carriers to make price-cutting moves of their own, though, a Sprint/T-Mobile merger might not be good news for customers.
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