Stock Market Today: Why Ford and 3M are on the Move

What you need to know about today's stock market.

Jul 24, 2014 at 9:25AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has gained 27 points in pre-market trading, suggesting a positive start for the stock market today. World markets rose overnight, led by a 1.3% gain in China's Shanghai index. European stocks were up 0.8% as of 9 a.m EDT. 

Earnings reports should drive stocks again today, as dozens of companies deliver their quarterly numbers., for one, is expected this afternoon to post a small per-share loss on a 23% jump in sales, to $19 billion.

Meanwhile, Ford (NYSE:F) and 3M (NYSE:MMM) stocks are on the move after the companies delivered their quarterly numbers this morning.


Ford posted a small revenue dip but managed higher than expected profit growth. Quarterly sales fell by less than 1%, to $37.9 billion, while earnings per share slipped to $0.40 from last year's $0.45 result. Analysts had been bracing for flat sales growth and earnings of $0.36 per share. Ford's automotive volume slipped by 1% overall, which the company blamed on lower market share in all regions except the Asia-Pacific. Still, profitability growth was strong: Operating margin expanded by 1 percentage point, to 11.6%, in North America, helping overall automotive margins tick higher. The company forecast an upcoming drop in profitability, though, as 13 weeks of factory downtime in preparation for the launch of the new F-150 will cut into earnings. Nevertheless, Ford affirmed its full-year guidance of $7.5 billion in pretax profit. The stock was up 1.3% in pre-market trading.

3M delivered solid results this morning, with second-quarter sales up 5% to $8.1 billion. Earnings rose 12% to $1.91 a share. That revenue gain was powered by organic sales growth of 4.8%, which was an improvement over the previous quarter's already impressive 4.6%. CEO Inge Thulin said in a press release that management was intent on "deploying capital more aggressively" in a bid to improve the business and to boost shareholder returns. To that end, the Dow giant paid out $560 million in dividends during the quarter and spent $1.4 billion on share buybacks. 3M affirmed its full-year guidance that calls for earnings of between $7.30 and $7.55 per share on organic sales growth of roughly 5%. The stock was up 1% in pre-market trading. 

Warren Buffett's worst auto-nightmare (Hint: It's not Tesla)
A major technological shift is happening in the automotive industry. Most people are skeptical about its impact. Warren Buffett isn't one of them. He recently called it a "real threat" to one of his favorite businesses. An executive at Ford called the technology "fantastic." The beauty for investors is that there is an easy way to ride this megatrend. Click here to access our exclusive report on this stock.

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 3M,, and Ford. The Motley Fool owns shares of and Ford. 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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