Dow Just Does It Despite Nike Drop; Caterpillar Climbs Despite Tax Questions

Despite poor guidance from Nike, the Dow climbed Friday morning, extending its gain from yesterday. Find out why Caterpillar and United Technologies rose today.

Mar 21, 2014 at 11:00AM

The stock market started Friday morning off on the right foot, as the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) rose another 98 points by 11 a.m. EDT after yesterday's relief rally as investors got more comfortable with the future direction of central-bank monetary policy. Successful bank stress tests also raised confidence levels in the market, though the Nasdaq was down. Even though earnings news from Nike (NYSE:NKE) held the Dow back somewhat, positive moves from United Technologies (NYSE:UTX) and Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) reflected the generally optimistic mood among blue-chip stocks Friday.

Nike's 3.2% drop came after the athletic-apparel maker reported quarterly earnings last night that disappointed growth-hungry investors. The company noted solid growth of 13% on the revenue front during the quarter, with even bigger gains in Western Europe and emerging markets, and earnings rose $0.03 per share after adjusting for last year's sale of Nike's Cole Haan division. But Nike said earnings growth wouldn't be as strong in fiscal 2015 as investors had expected, citing currency trouble even as the company continues working hard to bolster its worldwide reputation. With Nike's pricey valuation, those future projections carry a lot of weight, and shareholders sold off their holdings on the news.

Still, gains elsewhere overcame Nike's downward influence. Caterpillar rose 1.3% despite reports of an investigation by the U.S. Senate over alleged tax improprieties. According to Bloomberg, the investigation could follow up on allegations made five years ago by a whistle-blowing employee who claimed Caterpillar improperly evaded U.S. income tax by using complex offshore corporate structures and strategies to move taxable income beyond the government's reach. Caterpillar has said it would fight additional tax assessments if they come, but far more important to shareholders is whether the global economy will cooperate in bolstering heavy-equipment sales in key areas of the world, especially China.

United Technologies also rose 1.2% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the conglomerate's stock. The report cited favorable factors helping United Tech's diverse set of businesses, including strength in commercial aerospace following the company's Goodrich acquisition, solid prospects for its defense business, and rising commercial construction that could lead to greater demand for its elevator and HVAC systems. The move is just one example of how a rising economy could keep lifting stocks higher even after five years of bull-market gains.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Nike. The Motley Fool owns shares of Nike. 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.

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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