After Best Gains Since 1995, Dow Falls to Start 2014

Good morning, good lookin'. Here are the five things you need to know on Jan. 6.

Jan 6, 2014 at 6:00AM
 Links Worth Snacking On:
  • Chart of the Week: 2014 New Year's Eve resolutions by the numbers
  • Video of the Week: CNN Money's 10 stocks worth betting on in 2014
  • Harvard Business Review: 22 research reports to help you achieve your 2014 goals
  • Inc. 2 interview questions that separate "doers" from "poseurs"
  • Quartz: 8 charts that show what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke thinks of the 2013 economy
  • Fast Company: An algorithm that tells you if you're a hipster (don't deny it)
  • Open Culture: Isaac Asimov's predictions about 2014 from 1964
  • The Atlantic: A brief history of the "Mile High Club"
Still slouching on your couch despite the "lose 5 pounds by February" resolution? We hear ya -- Wall Street had a slow, holiday-shortened week, too. Here's everything you need to know about how the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) moseyed from 2013 to 2014 last week.

1. Stocks end 2013 green, start 2014 red
We don't know yet how it was for wines, but 2013 was a good year for stocks -- the Dow rose 26% and the S&P 500 jumped 30% to record highs for the market's best year since '95, thanks to continued Fed stimulus policies, improving econ data, and solid corporate earnings. Then, after ending the year with a win, stocks started the New Year with a loss for the first time since 2008 -- Friday's comments from Bernanke that the Fed was still cautious about the economy didn't help.

2. Some stocks got love ...
Disney
(NYSE:DIS) popped to an all-time high before the ball dropped as analysts upgraded their stock forecasts in 2014 -- big holiday movies, record theme park attendance, and the upcoming Disney Land in Shanghai sound fun. Unattractive "shoe"-maker Crocs got a $200 million investment from private equity powerhouse Blackstone so they can start making clothes and officewear that people will actually put on. Groupon jumped on word that fellow daily deal site LivingSocial is selling its $13.8 million stake in the company ('cause it's a good deal).
 
3. ... And some stocks got drama
Rental-car company Hertz (NYSE:HTZ) is getting a massive investment from serial investor Carl Icahn, which is great for the stock, even though the board doesn't know how to handle it. And struggling Canadian first-generation smartphone maker BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) announced that it's dropping singer/songwriter Alicia Keys as its creative director after a year because (shocker) the partnership didn't really make any sense.

4. Car sales weren't in top gear
U.S. car sales have been roaring like the convertible poster you had in your college dorm room, for the best annual performance in six years. According to a Friday report, December's sales rose again, but less than analysts expected. Like slower retail sales, you can blame it on the calendar -- a late Thanksgiving lost Ford (NYSE:F) and General Motors a week of annoyingly generic holiday-themed ads, and subsequent car sales. For 2013, car sales rose 8%, but for December it was a paltry 3% gain. For the 32nd straight year, the Ford F-150 topped U.S. auto sales, with more than 700,000.

5. Econ data rocketed into 2014
Apparently America's Christmas gift this year was a stocking full of jolly econ data. Pending home sales nudged up in November by 0.2%, and home prices rose 13.6% from the previous year to reach a seven-year high. Consumer confidence rose in December for its best year-end reading since '07. And manufacturing activity in the U.S. increased last month at its fastest pace since 2011.

What MarketSnacks Is Checking Out This Week:
  • Monday: Factory orders
  • Tuesday: International trade report
  • Wednesday: Minutes from the Fed's last meeting
  • Thursday: Weekly jobless claims
  • Friday: The big December 2013 employment report

As originally published on MarketSnacks.com

The Motley Fool's top 2014 stock
There's a huge difference between a good stock, and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report: "
The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Fool contributors Jack Kramer and Nick Martell have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and Walt Disney and owns shares of Ford, Hertz Global Holdings, and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers