Forget Russia! Dow Rallies 181 Points on Strong U.S. Data

Hertz's spinoff boosts shares while Lions Gate struggles and Disney keeps running.

Mar 17, 2014 at 6:07PM

Wall Street finally shifted its focus from Russian President Vladimir Putin's twisted game of geopolitical chess on Monday, as surprising growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector became hard to ignore. The Federal Reserve's February industrial production numbers show rapid growth in the auto industry especially, as production rose nearly 5% from January. After falling for five straight days last week as Putin's antics regarding Ukraine sparked global outrage, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) jumped 181 points, or 1.1%, to end at 16,247. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) stock helped to lead the charge, tacking on 1.7%.

Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF), although in the same industry as Disney, shed 5.1% today. But Lions Gate, let's be honest -- America knows Walt Disney. America grew up with Walt Disney. Walt Disney was a friend of ours. And Lions Gate, you're no Walt Disney. I'm not writing off Lions Gate, which is primarily known as the production company behind the money-printing Hunger Games franchise as well as the famed Mad Men and Orange is the New Black TV series. The company's finances are even solid enough to affirm its next quarterly dividend payment of $0.05 per share. Things are going well.

But Disney is an absolute wrecking ball, a brute force of nature in capitalism on planet earth. Its $142 billion market cap makes it 34 times larger than Lions Gate, which means that Mickey Mouse himself could probably acquire the smaller Disney rival without a loan or a credit check. That said, it's easy to get complacent when you're on top of the world like Disney is, and with a mediocre presence in the box office right now -- highlighted by Need for Speed and Peabody and Sherman -- Star Wars: Episode VII, expected in time for Christmas next year, can't come soon enough.

Lastly, shares of Hertz Global Holdings (NYSE:HTZ), primarily known to consumers for its rental car service, surged 4.8% today as investors cheered a reported spinoff. The Financial Times reported after markets closed on Friday that Hertz is planning to unwind its rental equipment business at a valuation approximating $4.5 billion. Spinoffs are commonly considered to unlock value for both the spinee and the spinner, as investors can more easily discern growth patterns in each business and management can maintain a narrower focus on pursuing core competencies. We'll get a better idea of how Hertz's equipment rental business is progressing tomorrow morning, when Hertz reports earnings.

The $2.2 trillion war for your living room begins now
You know cable's going away. So do smart companies like Disney, which are embracing distribution through streaming as we increasingly consume our entertainment on the Internet. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple.

John Divine owns shares of Apple and Google. You can follow him on Twitter, @divinebizkid, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google, Netflix, and Walt Disney and owns shares of Apple, Google, Hertz Global Holdings, Netflix, and Walt Disney. 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.

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