Microsoft Finds New CEO, Michael Kors and Zynga Soar

Major indexes move higher on little economic data, while investors waiting for the upcoming jobs reports.

Feb 4, 2014 at 1:00PM

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.

With little economic data being released today, and investors patiently waiting for tomorrow's ADP jobs report, Thursday's unemployment claims numbers, and Friday's Labor Department nonfarm payroll jobs report, the major indexes are moving higher today. As of 1 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up 98 points, or 0.6%, the S&P 500 is higher by 0.91% and the Nasdaq has risen 1.13%. These moves come after a string of ugly days on Wall Street, including yesterday's 325-point Dow decline.

Today is a different story, and within the Dow the ratio of winners to losers is 2-1. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares up 0.3% after the company announced that longtime executive Satya Nadella would take over as CEO. Additionally, Microsoft said co-founder Bill Gates would cede his place as board of directors chairman to board member John Thompson. Nadella has been with the company for more than two decades and now manages the cloud and enterprise division. Only time will tell how much power and control Nadella is given and whether any changes he wants to make will be allowed by board and its new chairman.  

Outside the Dow, two big winners today are upscale fashion retailer Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS), which is up more than 18.2% at this time, and online social media game company  Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), which has risen 5%. Shares of Kors are up after the company reported earnings this morning that beat on both revenue and earnings per share. The company posted revenue of $1 billion after only reporting sales of $636 million during the same quarter last year; analysts had expected revenue to hit $859.9 million. Earnings came in at $1.11 per share, while analysts had projected $0.86 per share. The massive beat comes after rival Coach reported a few weeks back and disappointed on a number of levels. We may be experiencing a changing of the guard in the world of mid-to-high end fashion.  

Zynga was on the move after its stock received an upgrade from neutral to buy this morning from UBS, which also slapped a $6 price target on shares. UBS said it believes Zynga's new management team can take the company in the right direction and its cost-cutting measures reinforce the idea that the current leaders are the right people for the job. Regardless of what Wall Street analysts believe, Zynga is still a very risky stock and investors should consider all possible outcomes before investing in the company.  

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Matt Thalman owns shares of Michael Kors Holdings and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Michael Kors Holdings. The Motley Fool owns shares of 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.

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