Microsoft and Kroger Bounce as Both Enter New Chapters

The Dow ignores revised GDP numbers and posts another winning session.

Feb 28, 2014 at 9:00PM
Longview Fool Image

After trading higher all day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI), the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq all nosedived around 3 p.m. EST. While the Dow and S&P 500 found their way back into positive territory today, the Nasdaq wasn't quite so lucky. When the closing bell rang, the Dow was higher for the session by 49 points, or 0.3%, the S&P 500 was up 0.28%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.25%.

These moves came after revised Gross Domestic Product numbers were released earlier this morning that indicated that economic activity in the U.S. for the fourth quarter of 2013 grew at a rate of 2.4%, much lower than the previously announced 3.25% or the 2.5% analysts had predicted. But as my colleague Alex Planes noted earlier today, Wall Street didn't seem to care. Alex does a great job of explaining why -- read it by clicking here.

Within the Dow, one of the biggest winners of the day was Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which rose 1.19%. The move comes with two stories attracting the attention of investors: first, comments by John Thompson, Microsoft's current Chairman, that the company's new CEO Satya Nadella needs to focus the company and lead those around him in the right direction. Furthermore, Thompson said that the direction needs to be headed toward making the company and its products more relevant to consumers.

The second piece of news follows up nicely with what Thompson said. The Verge reported earlier today that Microsoft is experimenting with the idea of a free version of Windows 8.1. Giving away the company's software has never been Microsoft's strategy, but this would likely get consumers interested in using the program, and Microsoft's other revenue-generating apps. We saw Google take a similar strategy years ago with its Android operating system, which is now one of the most-used operating systems throughout the world. At this time, giving away Windows 8.1 is just a rumor and, in the short run, there would be a big profit hit from doing such a venture; but it could be a very successful strategy long term. 

Outside the Dow, shares of supermarket chain Kroger (NYSE:KR) closed the session higher by 4.48% today. There was little news pertaining to the company today, but during the past few trading sessions, a number of analysts have been mentioning the company. On Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase upgraded the stock from a neutral rating to overweight, and increased its price target from $38 to $46. Then, on Thursday, analysts at Deutsche Bank named Kroger as one of two companies that could acquire struggling grocer Safeway (NYSE:SWY).

Kroger has grown throughout the years though buying out the competition or smaller chains, so this wouldn't be something new; but it would be a very large acquisition. Currently, Safeway is valued at $9 billion, as shares are trading at $37, while Kroger only has a market capitalization of $21 billion. The deal would likely be difficult for Kroger to pull off, especially since the Deutsche Bank analyst believes it would happen at a price somewhere between $45 to $55 per share for Safeway, giving the company a value of around $13.2 billion. While Kroger is clearly the better company of the two and the one I would rather hold long term, in the short term, Safeway may have more upside. 

Looking for the next BIG thing? Look no further.
There's a huge difference between a good stock and a stock that can make you rich. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has selected his No. 1 stock for 2014, and it's one of those stocks that could make you rich. You can find out which stock it is in the special free report "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." Just click here to access the report and find out the name of this under-the-radar company.

Matt Thalman owns shares of JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft. The Motley Fool owns shares of JPMorgan Chase 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.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers