Microsoft Charges to Lead the Dow's Hundred-Point Surge

Pfizer gains after yet another strong announcement from the Big Pharma giant.

Mar 31, 2014 at 2:30PM
Daily Fool

Stocks have kicked off the new week in a big way so far, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up more than 136 points as of 2:30 p.m. EDT. All but a few of the blue-chip index's member stocks were in the green today. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has impressed as of late, with the tech stock gaining 2.7% to lead the Dow today. Meanwhile, health care is making waves around the market with big news out of Dow member Pfizer (NYSE:PFE). Let's catch up on what you need to know.

Is Europe stimulus on the way?
Hope is rising around investment circles over the potential for stimulus moves from the European Central Bank. The ECB won't budge on its monetary policy when it meets later this week, but downbeat inflation statistics across Europe have engendered thoughts that the central bank might pull the trigger on action sooner rather than later. The eurozone's inflation fell to 0.5% in March, down from February's 0.7% and falling just below economist predictions. This is the third-straight month of decline; with the ECB targeting near-2% inflation -- and with Europe desperate to climb out of its economic doldrums -- it's worth keeping an eye on whether the central bank takes a harder stance on jump-starting its economy.

Satya

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Source: Wikimedia Commons, Leweb Photos

Microsoft has capitalized on a different sort of optimism today. Investors continue to rally around the company's recent moves under new CEO Satya Nadella, as Microsoft's release of Office for Apple's iPad led to the Word app reaching the App Store's sixth overall spot in its chart of highest-grossing apps. While the move may not be great news for the allure of Microsoft's own competing tablet, the Surface, it shows Nadella's willingness to marry Microsoft's best products with the tech world's giants.

Microsoft isn't out of the game in the mobile hardware business by any means, either: The company expects to close its acquisition of Nokia's mobile division next month, and Nadella's potential to introduce more of a mobile edge to Microsoft's portfolio offers tantalizing possibilities to the company's future.

Pfizer, up 0.72%, is following up on a very active week last week with another big announcement that came late in the day on Friday. FDA regulators approved Pfizer's nonprescription version of AstraZeneca's (NYSE:AZN) strong-selling acid reflux therapy Nexium, which should enable Pfizer to rake in big sales for its over-the-counter drug business.

Pfizer purchased the rights to the over-the-counter Nexium 24HR for $250 million two years ago from AstraZeneca, but it's not a complete loss for the latter. AstraZeneca will pull in royalties from Pfizer's sales, although that won't be much of a relief to investors concerned about Nexium's patent loss this May, a real danger for AstraZeneca considering the drug made more than $3.8 billion last year. Pfizer won't make anywhere near that much with its over-the-counter version, but it's still a worthy addition to an expansive drug portfolio.

Start your journey to stock market riches today
Millions of Americans have waited on the sidelines since the market meltdown in 2008 and 2009, too scared to invest and put their money at further risk. Yet those who've stayed out of the market have missed out on huge gains and put their financial futures in jeopardy. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you why investing is so important and what you need to do to get started. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

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

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 www.fool.com/podcasts.

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 www.fool.com/podcasts, 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