The Stocks That Pushed the Dow Higher Today

The Dow just barely moves into the black to continue its three-day winning streak.

Feb 10, 2014 at 9:00PM

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.

What American Express and Walt Disney couldn't do by themselves for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Travelers (NYSE:TRV) pitched in and got the job done, pushing the index into the green for the day. Let's first see what happened to the Dow and the other major indexes today, and then we'll look at why those three stocks in particular rose.

The Dow gained 7.71 points, or 0.05%, today after 17 of its 30 components ended the day with a gain. But it was still the worst performing of the major U.S. indexes, as the S&P 500 gained 0.16% and the Nasdaq jumped 0.54%. These moves all came on very little economic news, but all three indexes have been on a three-day upswing following a better-than-expected jobless-claims report on Thursday.

Now let's dig into why Coke, Johnson & Johnson, and Travelers moved higher today.

Coke closed the session up 1.63%, again on very little news. It's possible that investors are reacting to last week's announcement that Coke is taking a 10% ownership stake in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR), now that they've had time to consider the long-term implications. The deal also gives Green Mountain exclusive rights for 10 years to Coke's brand for single-serve products. I think it's a great move for both companies, but after reading my colleague Brian Shaw's piece on the topic, I really see the benefits for Coke. Brian notes that when SodaStream entered the single-serve market a few years ago, no one thought it would work. But with the major soda producers now seeing declining volumes, Coke has essentially beaten its closest competitor, PepsiCo, to a new market segment and growth opportunity. That first-mover advantage should help Coke put some distance between itself and Pepsi, which will allow it to maintain its dominant position within the industry.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson rose 1.14% today, which puts shares just 0.57% lower than were they started 2014. That's good enough to make it the sixth best performing Dow component year to date, while the Dow itself is down 4.67% this year. With volatility on the rise, investors are no doubt attracted to the consistent growth and reliability of J&J's stock price and dividend.

That move toward safety is probably what helped Travelers climb 1.82% today. My colleague Rupert Hargreaves wrote today that the insurance company may be Warren Buffett's next acquisition target. Buffett loves the insurance business because of the amount of cash it throws off, and Berkshire Hathaway already owns other insurance companies, so transitioning Travelers into the Berkshire portfolio would be fairly painless. One great thing about the insurance business, as investors and Buffett both know, is that even if the economy tumbles, property will still need to be insured.

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Matt Thalman owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, and SodaStream and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, and SodaStream. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.

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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