Evening Dow Report: Down 176 on China Fears, but Microsoft Jumps Late

News of slowing economic growth in China sent stocks down sharply. Find out about Microsoft's earnings results and some of the average's biggest losers today.

Jan 23, 2014 at 9:01PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

After focusing largely on earnings for the past week-and-a-half, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) got a bucket of cold water thrown in its face on the global economic front. A poor reading on China's manufacturing sector suggested that the key emerging-market economy might see a contraction from the important industry, spooking investors who had thought that emerging markets might finally start to look healthier. That weighed on U.S. industrial giants Boeing (NYSE:BA) and DuPont (NYSE:DD), each of which fell more than 2%, as well as some of the financial stocks in the Dow. But after the bell, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) reported favorable earnings that could provide a bit of lift to the average Friday.

Boeing's drop coincided with its first bad news on the order-cancellation front this year. The aerospace giant said that it had three orders for 737 aircraft cancelled during the first three weeks of the year, offsetting new orders for 33 737s. For the most part, though, China's pullback should have only minimal impacts on Boeing, given that the company has profited from the specific improvement in the airline industry. As long as airlines look to boost their long-term profitability by replacing less efficient older aircraft with newer models, Boeing should be able to grow unless a slowdown in growth turns into an outright recession.

DuPont, on the other hand, is positioning itself to be much more dependent on favorable global economic conditions. As it moves to focus more on the agricultural chemical and products segment, DuPont needs to see emerging-market countries continue to improve their standards of living, and seek to diversify their food supplies in order to drive demand. If key economies start to reverse course and become less prosperous, it could put a stop to ag-product growth for DuPont and its peers.

Finally, Microsoft gained 0.3% in the regular session today, but it added more than 3% in after-hours trading after reporting an 11% jump in adjusted revenue that led to the tech giant beating earnings estimates by $0.10 per share. The company reported 3.9 million Xbox One sales for the quarter, with total hardware sales up 68%. Favorable results in commercial license revenue and the overall devices-and-consumer segment were particularly encouraging, with sales of its Surface tablet more than doubling from the prior quarter. With many continuing to write Microsoft off as a has-been in the technology industry, any positive results could send the stock higher.

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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.

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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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