General Electric Plans Acquisition and Chinese Automakers Eye U.S. Market

General Electric continues to move its business away from the financial segment, and Chinese automakers are gearing up to enter the U.S. market as soon as next year.

Jan 7, 2014 at 3:00PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up more than 100 points, or 0.65%, in midafternoon trading after the Commerce Department said the U.S. trade gap fell 12.9% to $34.3 billion in November, which was the smallest deficit since October 2009. Tuesday's report leads economists to believe the pace of U.S. growth in the fourth quarter will be stronger than expected. With that positive economic data, and the Dow on the rise, here are a couple companies making news. 

Inside the Dow Jones Industrial Average, General Electric (NYSE:GE) on Monday announced plans to acquire cell research divisions from Thermo Fisher Scientific for $1.06 billion. The acquisition is another step in the right direction for General Electric as it moves away from its North American retail finance business, which it plans to spin off, and focus on other segments.

This new deal will boost the conglomerate's health unit and will further aid GE's focus on developing new medicines and vaccines in life sciences.

"Life Sciences is one of our strongest and fastest-growing business areas, driven by the world's demand for improved diagnostics and new, safer medicines," said John Dineen, chief executive of GE Healthcare, in a press release. "This deal makes a good business even better and will help us realize our vision of bringing better health care to more people at lower cost."

Outside of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, General Motors (NYSE:GM) reported Tuesday that it and its joint ventures sold a record 3,160,377 vehicles in China last year. That's a sales improvement of 11.4% from 2012, and equates to GM selling a vehicle every 10 seconds. 

Despite recent recalls of more than 1.5 million Buick Excelle and Chevrolet Sail units in China, Buick sales in China increased 15.7% in 2013 to finish with nearly 810,000 units sold for an all-time high. In similar fashion, Chevrolet also set a record with an increase of 8.5% in 2013, to slightly more than 650,000 units.

Another great storyline for investors is General Motors' luxury brand's success in China. Cadillac sales last year were up 66% from 2012, led by sales of 26,897 SRX units and 20,101 XTS units.

Domestic automakers, including Ford (NYSE:F) and GM, have been focusing on China's growing automotive market, which is already the world's largest. However, investors would be wise to remember that China may be eyeing our market sooner than expected.

Chinese automakers are poised to begin hitting showrooms in America as soon as 2015, including BYD, the Chinese company backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway

"Entering the U.S. market carries more symbolic meaning to brand building than actually boosting its bottom line," said Han Weiqi, an analyst with CSC International Holdings in Shanghai, according to Bloomberg. "They really need to make sure cars they deliver there have sound quality in order to avoid adverse impact."

Say goodbye to "Made In China"
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Fool contributor Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and General Electric Company. 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.

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