Stock Market Today: Best Buy Shocks and Goldman Sachs Surprises

Why Best Buy, Goldman Sachs, and UnitedHealth stocks are on the move today.

Jan 16, 2014 at 9:00AM

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.

Expect a flat start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) lost an insignificant 11 points in premarket trading this morning. Over the last two days, stocks have erased the big losses from the first week of 2014 and are now back at record levels. Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH).

Best Buy this morning said intense promotions over the holiday season took a bite out of its profits. The retailer saw overall sales shrink by less than 1%, as it protected and even slightly expanded its market share in some categories for the nine-week period ending on Jan. 5. But there was a hefty cost to that strategy: it will cleave roughly 2 percentage points from profitability for the fourth quarter. Additionally, customer traffic levels fell significantly over the holidays, and the company booked a particularly weak result in the mobile phone business. Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said the rough holiday results have bolstered management's "sense of urgency" around the retailer's transformation, and he forecast huge cost cuts in the year ahead. The stock is down 28% in premarket trading.

Goldman Sachs today reported fourth-quarter revenue of $8.78 billion and earnings of $4.60 a share. Both figures were solidly higher than Wall Street expected. The company saw broad gains across its business lines, but the investing and lending division stood out with a 20% revenue gain over the full year. Its investment banking business leapt higher by 22% in the fourth quarter as well, helped along by a boost in the volume of initial public offerings that the company managed. Goldman Sachs' stock is up 0.8% in premarket trading.

Finally, UnitedHealth today posted $31.1 billion in sales for the fourth quarter, in addition to a healthy profit of $1.41 a share. Both figures were slightly ahead of analysts' estimates. The health care giant's Optum health services business was a key contributor, growing by 35% to reach quarterly revenue of $10.2 billion. Earnings from that business helped UnitedHealth expand its overall profitability to 6.2% for the year, up slightly from 6.1% in 2012. The company also affirmed its guidance for 2014, saying revenue should come in at about $129 billion and net earnings will be about $5.50 a share. The stock is up 1.2% in premarket trading.

Start 2014 off right
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Fool contributor Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth Group. 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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