The Dow Seeks Record No. 12 as Intel, Microsoft Diverge

The Dow Jones Industrials were in record territory Tuesday, but tech giants Intel and Microsoft went in opposite directions.

Jun 24, 2014 at 11:00AM

The Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) climbed into all-time high territory Tuesday morning, as promising readings on new-home sales and solid consumer confidence numbers helped restore investors' confidence in the stock market's long bull run. As of 11 a.m. EDT, the Dow was up 24 points, pushing beyond last Friday's all-time high and putting the average on track for its 12th record of 2014. Interestingly, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) was gaining even as tech peer Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) gave up ground this morning.


Source: Intel.

Intel's 1.3% rise put it at the top of the list of Dow gainers in early trading, continuing the recent surge that has sent the semiconductor chip giant to its best levels in a decade. As much scrutiny as Intel has received for its sluggishness in capturing opportunities in the fast-growing mobile chip market, the reason for the stock's jump likely has to do with its legacy PC business. Earnings results from various players in the tech sector have indicated that PC demand has picked up substantially over the past quarter, resulting in stronger sales of everything from memory chips to peripherals. Intel might well owe much of that success to Microsoft, as the software company's decision to end technical support for its Windows XP operating system led many users to update their computers rather than trying to navigate an operating-system upgrade on old equipment.


Yet despite apparent PC strength, Microsoft fell more than half a percent this morning. Microsoft has clearly turned its attention almost exclusively to the mobile world, with today's release of the Windows Phone 8.1 update and its much-anticipated Cortana virtual assistant feature. At the same time, Microsoft is releasing its low-cost Nokia-branded X2 smartphone, adding another weapon in its arsenal of Android-based phones and demonstrating Microsoft's willingness to promote products on multiple platforms. The key to the company's approach is pre-loading the hardware it sells with as many of its software and cloud-based products as possible, making it easiest for users to stick with the tools Microsoft provides rather than replacing them with alternatives. Yet Microsoft's rivals are pursuing similar strategies, seeking to establish the dominance of their respective ecosystems and capture as much business from each customer as they possibly can.

Economic strength will help lift the Dow Jones Industrials, but for the Dow's tech giants, the key is finding the right strategy to take advantage of demand for PCs, mobile devices, and other emerging technologies. With so much growth potential but so many players in the industry, Intel and Microsoft will have to keep working hard to make the most of their opportunities.

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
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Dan Caplinger owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel, 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.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

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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