Why Amazon.com, Aruba Networks, and Westmoreland Coal Soared Today

The stock market again recovered from early losses, this time to finish up on the day. Find out more about what made these three stocks soar.

Jul 11, 2014 at 7:05PM

On Friday, the stock market largely repeated its performance from the previous day, albeit without quite as much fanfare. Like yesterday, stocks initially posted losses, with concerns about earnings reports weighing on the mood of investors. Yet, by the end of the day, the markets had recovered their upward momentum, and most major stock market benchmarks finished up on the day. Shareholders in Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN), and Westmoreland Coal (NASDAQ:WLB) had even more to celebrate, with solid gains in their share prices today.

Source: Amazon.com.

Amazon climbed almost 6% as the online-retail giant had mixed news. On the positive side, Amazon expanded its menu of cloud-computing services for its Amazon Web Services unit, reminding investors that the company is a major play on the cloud, as well as its namesake retail business. Amazon also got attention today for seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to test-fly delivery drones, which it hopes to use to enable same-day delivery in key high-volume markets to further improve its customer service. Yet, Amazon also came under fire as the Federal Trade Commission said that the company had allowed children to make unauthorized charges from within apps while collecting from parents' accounts. The FTC will seek refunds of the charges, and also wants to stop Amazon from similar practices going forward.


Source: Aruba Networks.

Aruba Networks gained 7% after the Federal Communications Commission approved a $2 billion program to provide grants for schools to help pay for Wi-Fi networking infrastructure. Investors hope that Aruba will get its share of revenue resulting from increased sales of Wi-Fi-related products to meet this increase in demand. Moreover, some believe that the FCC's decision doesn't go nearly far enough toward helping U.S. schools improve their network access, and any future boost in funding for similar programs going forward could help Aruba's business to an even greater extent.

Westmoreland Coal rose 6% after the company successfully made a secondary offering of stock. Westmoreland raised about $52 million by selling roughly 1.46 million shares at $35.50 per share, which was about 4% below the stock's closing price Thursday. Usually, secondary share offerings result in share-price reductions, especially when offering prices are below the market price. But investors clearly believe that the capital-raise is a move in the right direction toward helping Westmoreland reduce its debt. With the industry still struggling from relatively low prices for coal, stabilizing its balance sheet is positive for Westmoreland, at least for the immediate future.

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Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com. 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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