Apple, Microsoft, and Verizon Lead Dow Jones Higher

Shares of mega-caps Apple, Microsoft, and Verizon are rallying early Wednesday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average posts a modest gain.

Jan 15, 2014 at 11:20AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) rose more than 100 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST Wednesday. But even as the broader market rallied, a few notable giants were posting even more impressive gains. Shares of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) all rose more than 1% early in the session.

Empire State beats expectations 
A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York may have helped the Dow Jones rally; the Empire State Manufacturing Index rose to 12.51 this month, significantly higher than economists' 3.75 forecast. Empire State Manufacturing is a measure of the economic activity in the New York region, and a better-than-expected result suggests that the economy may be stronger than thought.

Still, the figure isn't the most significant in terms of measuring the broader U.S. economy. Although it's a positive sign, investors shouldn't put too much stock in one data point.

Apple's CEO talks up Chinese opportunity
Apple shares were up more than 2% early on Wednesday, following The Wall Street Journal's publication of an interview with CEO Tim Cook. In the interview, Cook talked up Apple's prospects in China, remarking that iPhone sales there have picked up steam and that iOS devices account for 57% of mobile Internet browsing in China.

Starting Friday, subscribers to China Mobile, China's largest wireless provider, will be able to purchase Apple's iPhone. The deal with China Mobile could result in millions more iPhones sold in the coming quarters.

Verizon win draws controversy
Verizon shares rose nearly 2% Wednesday following a legal victory that sparked widespread controversy.

If the federal appeals court ruling on "net neutrality" stands, Verizon and other Internet providers will be able to prioritize certain Web traffic, making it difficult (or nearly impossible) to reach certain websites. In the future, Verizon may be able to extract additional revenue from particularly popular websites or charge users based on which websites they visit.

Microsoft defies critics
Microsoft shares, meanwhile, rose 2.4% despite a lack of positive news. In fact, Microsoft's gain was defying its critics -- on Tuesday, Citigroup downgraded Microsoft shares to neutral from buy, citing risks surrounding the next CEO.

If Microsoft names an insider to replace outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer (something that's looking increasingly likely), shares could dip below $30, according to the analysis. Citi reasons that investors are hungry for a change, and a current Microsoft employee might be unwilling or unable to shake the company up as much, or as quickly, as an outsider. 

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Sam Mattera has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and 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.

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