Stock Market Today: A Chinese Tech Giant’s Record IPO and a Weak Launch for Disney's “Need for Speed”

Why Yahoo!, Disney, and UPS stocks are on the move today.

Mar 17, 2014 at 9:00AM

Investors can expect a strong start to the stock market today: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has gained 76 points, or 0.48%, in pre-market trading. European stocks were solidly higher as of 7:30 a.m. EDT, regaining some of last week's losses after Crimea voted over the weekend to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

Next up on today's economic calendar is a fresh reading on the housing market from the National Association of Home Builders. That report is expected to show that homebuilder confidence improved this month, pushing the index reading to 50, which indicates a steady market. Look for the data to be released at 10 a.m. EDT. 

NAHB/Wells Fargo US Housing Market Index Chart

NAHB/Wells Fargo US Housing Market Index data by YCharts.

Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), Disney (NYSE:DIS), and UPS (NYSE:UPS).

Yahoo! shares are up 4.1% in pre-market trading after Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, announced plans to launch an initial public offering. The IPO could raise as much as $16 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal, in what will likely be the largest listing ever for a Chinese company on a U.S. stock exchange. The Journal described Alibaba as a mixture of U.S. businesses such as, eBay, and Google. Yahoo! would benefit from a successful IPO as it owns 24% of the company.

Disney's Need for Speed movie had a disappointing launch at the U.S. box office this weekend, grossing just $18 million to come in third place behind DreamWorks Animation's (NASDAQ:DWA) Mr. Peabody & Sherman and Warner Bros.' 300: Rise of an Empire. Disney and DreamWorks both have a stake in Need for Speed, and had hoped the movie could launch a new franchise. But those plans could be at risk given the film's weak start. However, the movie did perform much better in its international debut, taking in $46 million abroad. Disney's stock is up 0.8% in pre-market trading, while DreamWorks' shares are unchanged.

Finally, UPS announced this morning that it is raising its freight shipping rate by 4.4%. The move follows FedEx's rate hike of 3.9% last week and should help the delivery giant recover some of the profitability it has been losing as customers flock toward less expensive shipping choices. For example, UPS' average revenue per package fell by 1.3% during the holiday quarter as shippers moved away from ultra-quick delivery methods. UPS' stock is unchanged in pre-market trading.

Go beyond the daily swings
It's no secret that investors tend to be impatient with the market, but the best investment strategy is to buy shares in solid businesses and keep them for the long term. In the special free report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," The Motley Fool shares investment ideas and strategies that could help you build wealth for years to come. Click here to grab your free copy today.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends DreamWorks Animation, FedEx, United Parcel Service, Walt Disney, and Yahoo!. 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.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

Something big just happened

I don't know about you, but I always pay attention when one of the best growth investors in the world gives me a stock tip. Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner (whose growth-stock newsletter was rated #1 in the world by The Wall Street Journal)* and his brother, Motley Fool CEO Tom Gardner, just revealed two brand new stock recommendations moments ago. Together, they've tripled the stock market's return over 12+ years. And while timing isn't everything, the history of Tom and David's stock picks shows that it pays to get in early on their ideas.

Click here to be among the first people to hear about David and Tom's newest stock recommendations.

*"Look Who's on Top Now" appeared in The Wall Street Journal which references Hulbert's rankings of the best performing stock picking newsletters over a 5-year period from 2008-2013.

Compare Brokers