Why Zynga and Microsoft Shares are Moving

Shares of Zynga, Microsoft, and Marvell were among the most active tech stocks on Thursday.

Jun 5, 2014 at 11:30AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) had risen a bit more than 53 points as of 11:30 a.m. EDT. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was one of the index's strongest gainers, while fellow tech stocks Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) and Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) experienced notable declines.

The European Central Bank goes negative
The Dow's modest gain might have been helped by the European Central Bank's announcement this morning that it was cutting its bank deposit rate to -0.1%. That means the banks will now be charged for having their money held with the central bank.

In theory, such a move should encourage banks to lend money rather than face a new fee, helping to boost the European economy and drum up further consumption and investment. Whether this works remains to be seen, but European stocks largely rose on the announcement, and that positive momentum may have carried over to the Dow Jones.


Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Microsoft gets an upgrade
Microsoft shares rose nearly 0.7% after FBR Capital Markets raised its rating on the stock to outperform with a $49 price target. Previously, the firm had a market perform rating with a $43 price target.

FBR believes Microsoft's cloud offerings will benefit investors, and that the company's new CEO will successfully transition the Windows business to a computing era largely dominated by mobile devices. 

Zynga continues to shake up management team
Zynga shares, meanwhile, fell nearly 10% in early trading. Such volatility is typical for Zynga, which has experienced wild swings in recent months. Although shares now trade at less than $3, the stock had been worth nearly $6 in early March.

A further shake-up in the social game company's management team may have had some effect on its shares. VentureBeat reported on Wednesday that three top executives had recently left the company, which continues to try to reinvent itself. Given Zynga's struggles, new management may be a good thing, but it also suggests that this turnaround may take longer than anticipated.

Marvell stumbles
Shares of chipmaker Marvell were down more than 5% early on Thursday, though the reason was not clear. There were no major news releases of note.

Like Zynga, Marvell has been a volatile stock, but over the last six months it is still up nearly 10%. Marvell has been a favorite stock among many major investors, including hedge fund manager David Einhorn.

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Sam Mattera has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of 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.

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. 

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