Markets Fall From Morning Highs as Facebook's Purchase Makes Waves

Facebook purchase of Oculus is not only hurting its own stock, but may be pulling Microsoft lower.

Mar 26, 2014 at 1:00PM
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As of 1 p.m. EDT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 47 points, or 0.29%, the S&P 500 was higher by 0.26%, and the Nasdaq was down 0.25%. All three indexes opened much higher, but the markets dropped throughout morning trading. One reason could be today's Census Bureau's durable goods report, which found that orders for such products rose just 0.2% last month; economists predicted a 0.3% rise. This figure indicates that the U.S. economy is not as strong as economists might believe.

Shares of Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) are up nearly 3% after an analyst at Citigroup upgraded the stock from neutral to buy and increased the price target to $65. Analyst Jeremy David believes that Garmin's new fitness device, the Vivofit, will be a huge success with the fitness community. The device tracks the user's steps, distance traveled, and calories burned, and it has a battery life of more than one year. David also increased his 2014 revenue prediction for Garmin by $98 million, to $2.73 billion, and bumped his earnings estimate higher from $2.54 to $2.77 per share. If the analyst is correct, today's move is likely just the start of a big rise for Garmin.  


One big loser today is Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) as shares are down 4%. The drop comes following the announcement that Facebook will acquire virtual reality headset maker Oculus for $2 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said virtual reality could be the next social media and communications platform. The social media giant is taking a risk in acquiring a technology that is not mainstream and may or may not be adopted by the general public. Furthermore, while one could say that Facebook only paid $2 billion, much less than the $19 billion it spent on WhatsApp, that is still a lot of money on a gamble.  

Shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are down 1%. The move may be related to the Facebook acquisition, as some have hinted Oculus would have been a great company for Microsoft to pick up in order to incorporate the technology into its existing offerings. Another reason for the decline today could be the recent price changes for the Xbox One game console. Microsoft started by bundling the unit with a game for $500, which is about $60 below normal cost. Then a few retailers cut an additional $50 off that price, making it comparable to the price of a PlayStation 4 and a game. Now Microsoft itself is offering the same price for a limited time. These price changes make it clear that a full price cut on the Xbox One is likely soon, which some may suspect to be a bad thing for the company as the margins on the device will likely fall. Others will argue that more units will be sold if the price is the same as the PS4, which would increase revenue but at a lower margin.  

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Matt Thalman owns shares of Facebook and Microsoft. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook 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.

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