Visa Supports the Dow as Tales of Security Breaches Grow

Visa is going strong, even as more information comes to light regarding the breadth of credit and debit card hacks at big retailers.

Jan 13, 2014 at 12:03PM

With very little on the economic indicator slate today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has fallen into the red by late morning. Investors might still be mulling the implications of last Friday's jobless data, and what the combination of a falling unemployment rate and declining workforce participation mean for the Federal Reserve's monetary easing program, as well as the wider U.S. economy.

Investors may get some insight on that subject later today, as Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart  is scheduled to give a speech at 12:40 p.m. in Atlanta on the outlook of the U.S. economy.

Security breaches may take toll on credit companies
Visa (NYSE:V) and American Express are still in the green in late morning, though both have lost a bit of their earlier shine, too. The cause could be some additional press over the weekend  concerning security breaches during the holiday shopping season, which are now believed to be more widespread than originally reported.

Department store chain Neiman Marcus has acknowledged that it also experienced a credit security incident around the same time as Target, and Reuters reported that other stores are likely to make similar admissions in the near future. For its part, Visa issued security alerts to retailers in April and August of last year, outlining the very types of attacks that recently occurred -- and suggesting methods to repel those malware assaults.

Visa also enjoyed an upgrade earlier today from an analyst at Citigroup, who bolstered the credit card issuer from neutral to buy, expecting the company to begin closing the valuation gap with main rival MasterCard (NYSE:MA) this year.

Both credit companies are polishing their images as well. The Financial Times noted that MasterCard is using "experiential learning" to better equip its executives for forays into emerging markets such as China, where the company is expanding its business. Visa has launched a new advertising campaign, "Everywhere you want to be," hoping to integrate the concept of payments with other services available from Visa, such as e-commerce and mobile payment options.

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Fool contributor Amanda Alix has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. The Motley Fool owns shares of Citigroup, MasterCard, and Visa. 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.

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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. 

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

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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." 

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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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