Edging higher for a fifth straight day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) notched a record closing high yet again on Tuesday. Flirting with breakeven levels for most of the day, the blue chip index didn't get much help from Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) shares, which nearly finished as the worst performing stock in the Dow. The Dow itself tacked on just 2 points, ending at 16,945.
Disney shares gave up nearly all of yesterday's gains, losing 0.9% on Tuesday. Today's losses come despite little news regarding the company, although perhaps the fact that it was a slow news day caused investors to get jittery about things they would normally write off. It appears hedge fund all-star Andreas Halvorsen's Viking Global fund divested from Disney stock in the first quarter, according to SEC filings. Long-term investors shouldn't fret, though -- hedge funds don't think in terms of long-term value, they think quarterly. Viking Global, for example, bought Disney's stock less than a year ago. Such short-term strategies lean closer to gambling than investing.
Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD ) shed 2.3% today. Over the last several years, shareholders have learned to accept such intraday losses -- or have sold out themselves -- without blinking an eye. The decline of Sears, once a dominating force in retail and a familiar presence in malls across America, has been well-documented. As shoppers increasingly shifted their spending habits toward e-commerce, Sears failed to adapt, and the costs of brick-and-mortar selling weigh it down to this day. The trajectory of the business doesn't appeal to my investing style, but my colleague Michael Lewis argues that even if Sears goes bankrupt, the liquidation value of the company could surpass today's share price.
Bankruptcy isn't something that DryShips (NASDAQ: DRYS ) investors should worry about for the time being, even though the company isn't profitable at the moment. The Greek bulk shipper really dug itself out of a hole back in 2008 when it acquired a controlling interest in Ocean Rig, an offshore contract oil driller. While fortunes were certainly lost in the 2008-2009 crisis, times of turmoil are also when fortunes are made, and DryShips appears to have made a shrewd investment. Ocean Rig signed a six year contract last week for one of its rigs which will have an estimated $1.3 billion backlog. DryShips rallied 7.2% on Tuesday as drybulk shipping prices also increased.
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