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.


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.

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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.

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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