Microsoft and Verizon Are Pulling the Dow in Opposite Directions Today

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is flat today, but Microsoft and Verizon are moving big in opposite directions.

Jan 6, 2014 at 3:30PM

Wall Street returned to normal trading today after two weeks of slow volume during the holidays. There's still not a lot of data to digest and earnings season has yet to begin, so it's not surprising to see the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) wobble around breakeven through the day, down 0.06% with 30 minutes left in the trading day.

While the market as a whole may have been slow, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) are moving in opposite directions today.

Verizon gets a bump
A deal announced today calls for Verizon to sell spectrum to T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) for $2.4 billion in cash and another $950 million worth of T-Mobile spectrum. The deal is a win for both companies, with Verizon selling unused low-band frequencies spectrum in return for cash and AWS and PCS airwaves that will reduce congestion on its network in large cities. Meanwhile, T-Mobile becomes both a stronger competitor and a potential takeover target for Sprint or Sprint majority owner SoftBank.

At the end of the day, Verizon made a profit on spectrum it may have overpaid for in 2008 and gets needed spectrum in the process. That's why the stock is up 0.8% on a day the Dow is down.

Microsoft's CEO search continues
Shares of Microsoft have fallen 2% today after challenges with the company's CEO search were highlighted by The Wall Street Journal. The article (found here) suggested that both current CEO Steve Ballmer and Microsoft founder Bill Gates plan to remain active in the company, with seats on the company's board. That could make it particularly hard for a new CEO to institute change, since the two men have set the company's strategy since its inception.

So far, established CEOs like Ford's Alan Mulally and Nokia's Stephen Elop have been rumored for the job, but they may not want to run a company if their predecessors will be looking over their shoulder.

It looks like the CEO search continues on at Microsoft, which means more time without a clear long-term vision from the top. That's bad for shareholders no matter how you look at it.

Can Microsoft win in this emerging market?
If Microsoft can get its strategy right, the company is well positioned to take advantage of disruptions in the television market. The companies that prevail in this epic disruption could go on to earn their shareholders untold sums of money. And the companies that lose could very well end up in bankruptcy court within a matter of years. With this in mind, our top technology analysts created a groundbreaking free report that sorts out the likely winners from the losers. In doing so, they reveal the handful of companies that are best positioned to make their shareholders exceptionally rich over the next few decades. To download this invaluable free report before the rest of the market catches on, simply click here now.

Fool contributor Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.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.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information