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Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Expect a flat start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is set to gain just six points at the opening bell. Outgoing Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will give a speech today at an economic conference, where he could shed more light on the Fed's plans to slowly withdraw its stimulus measures while keeping interest rates low for years to come. Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in the session, including General Mills (NYSE: GIS ) , FireEye (NASDAQ: FEYE ) and Lindsay (NYSE: LNN ) .
The movement against genetically modified organisms in food is getting a big boost today: General Mills has begun making its Cheerios brand cereal without GMOs. The new product should hit shelves soon and will carry the label "Not Made With Genetically Modified Ingredients," according to The Wall Street Journal. A spokesman for General Mills said the move is a response to consumer demand and not due to any worries over the safety of GMO ingredients. Since the main ingredient in the cereal, oats, is already GMO-free, General Mills only had to find new sources for its cornstarch and sugar inputs. Still, the switch required a "significant investment," the company said. General Mills' stock is unchanged in premarket trading.
Cyber security company FireEye is seeing shares soar in premarket trading after announcing Thursday the acquisition of privately held Mandiant. By adding Mandiant's security services to FireEye's threat protection portfolio, the $1 billion purchase will give FireEye a complete suite of products to protect against, and respond to, cyberattacks. FireEye said it will fund the purchase through cash and by issuing stock. The company also announced preliminary results for its fourth quarter that, due to the already closed Mandiant acquisition, will show significantly higher billings and revenue bookings. FireEye's stock is up 24% in premarket trading.
Finally, irrigation and infrastructure specialist Lindsay this morning reported earnings results for its fiscal first quarter. Sales came in flat, at $148 million, and profit fell by 31% to $0.79 a share. Lindsay's revenue was pinched by falling commodity prices and a drop in demand for its irrigation systems in the U.S. as compared to last year's drought-driven figures. Still, the company is confident enough in its cash position that it boosted its dividend by 100%, to $0.26 a share, and announced a new capital allocation plan that includes share buybacks and more dividend boosts in the years ahead. Lindsay's stock is unchanged in premarket trading.
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