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.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

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.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

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. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of 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. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers