Intel Sets Plans For the Future

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.

It's a solid day on Wall Street, one day after Janet Yellen received Senate confirmation to become the first chairwoman of the Federal Reserve. Upon taking the job on Feb. 1, Yellen is expected to continue many of Ben Bernanke's policies for what should be a fairly seamless transition at the central bank.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams said today the Fed's now-$75 billion per month bond-buying program could be ended by the end of this year if the economy continues to improve. Investors liked what they heard, and near the end of trading the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) is up 0.70%.  

Intel sets its course
It's no secret that Dow component Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) has lagged when it comes to mobile devices, but CEO Brian Krzanich outlined what the company sees as the future of tech during a presentation today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. He highlighted smart headsets, earbuds, and a smartwatch that will use the company's chips.  

Intel's new 22-nanometer system on a chip -- named Edison -- is a low-power chip intended for use in small electronic devices and a high-potential product in 2014. Intel also announced a dual operating platform that would work with both Microsoft Windows and Google's Android. This is intended to bridge the gap for products that up until now have had to choose between the two.

Another major announcement was a partnership with 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD  ) intended to "mainstream" 3-D scanning and printing. 3D Systems' printing software will be made available through Intel's software development kit. When combined with a new 3-D printer for less than $1,000 that 3D Systems announced yesterday, the potential to expand into this business is enormous.  

At the very least, Intel is making a hard push into mobile and wearable devices, something it didn't do with smartphones. That's a step in the right direction.

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