Dow Finishes Week in the Black; Renren Slumps 5.9%

Disney shares fall despite renewed focus on China; Best Buy rebounds from losing streak

Mar 7, 2014 at 6:09PM

Stocks posted modest gains to finish the week, as Wall Street applauded Friday's nonfarm payrolls numbers from the Labor Department. February's nonfarm payroll job gains of 175,000 exceeded the 150,000 consensus estimate, though the unemployment rate edged slightly higher, to 6.7%. While it's great to see some jobs growth, the labor market still isn't what you'd call "robust," and many jobs are still part-time: the average American employee works 34.2 hours. Taking February's numbers with a grain of salt, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) added 30 points, or 0.2%, to end at 16,452. 

Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock finished as the biggest loser in the Dow today, down 1.4%. The decline didn't come on any major developments with the entertainment giant; in fact, the only developments with Disney recently have been largely positive. Yesterday, the company signed a deal with a Chinese media company, creating a new, collaborative way of melding Chinese themes into Disney movies. China has a 34-film maximum for the number of Hollywood movies it allows into the country each year, and Disney would like to improve the chances its films have of making the selective cut.

Shares of Chinese social networking company Renren (NYSE:RENN), however, weren't the best testament to China's desirability today, shedding 5.8% in trading. Renren's stock is an opportunity long-term investors should approach with caution: it's not profitable, its operations are severely restricted by high regulation, and it's a social network. Social networks, as a whole, have yet to prove their long-term viability, and there's absolutely no track record for small-cap Chinese social networks like this one. Also, there's been some suspect trading in Renren this week -- the NYSE contacted the company about its seemingly unprovoked 22% surge on Wednesday, with Renren simply stating that the company didn't comment on strange trading activities. 

Lastly, a company with very little to do with China: Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). The stock added 1.4% today as it bounced back from a four-day losing streak. Best Buy may turn out to be a rare breed of retailer: one that can successfully decrease its store count and reliance on brick-and-mortar sales with the success of its online operations filling the void. The company proved that concept with its most recent quarter, in which online sales jumped 20% despite declining same-store sales. It would be nice to retain the best of both the online and physical worlds, but by gracefully accepting its new path, Best Buy is doing itself and shareholders a favor.

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John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. 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.

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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."

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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." 

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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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