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Stock Market News: Tesla Truck Disappoints; a Big Day for Disney

By Dan Caplinger - Nov 22, 2019 at 11:49AM

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Markets were little changed as investors tried to parse through news on trade and economic data.

Friday morning was quiet on Wall Street, as major benchmarks didn't produce huge moves. The leaders of China and the U.S. made comments about trade negotiations that hinted at possible progress, while European officials tried to find new ways to try to stoke the global economy. As of 11:15 a.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI -1.34% ) was up 35 points to 27,801. But the S&P 500 ( ^GSPC -1.18% ) fell 5 points to 3,100, and the Nasdaq Composite ( ^IXIC 0.00% ) moved lower by 22 points to 8,484.

Among individual stocks, Tesla ( TSLA -4.35% ) made news with the introduction of its long-awaited pickup truck, but investors didn't seem to be entirely confident about what the vehicle might portend for the company's longer-term prospects. Meanwhile, Disney ( DIS -1.90% ) also saw a key new release of a very different kind Friday, and shareholders have high hopes for what it could mean going forward.

Tesla releases its Cybertruck

Tesla's shares fell 6% after the electric vehicle manufacturer launched its pickup truck. Dubbed the Cybertruck, the pickup got an unexpected reaction during its unveiling, raising some questions about the concept.

Cybertruck pickup in a dark room with a spotlight.

Image source: Tesla.

One of CEO Elon Musk's claims about the Cybertruck was that its windows would be shatterproof. Yet when that was tested during the presentation, the windows shattered -- leaving Musk to backpedal. That drew some criticism from some who questioned the engineering of the vehicle.

The bigger issue for others, though, was the look of the vehicle. Some have compared the design to something typically seen in futuristic science fiction, and in that sense, it runs against Tesla's argument that the Cybertruck will compete directly against industry staples like the F-150 or Chevy Silverado.

Tesla has been innovative in the past, and it's survived awkward moments as well. Even with today's drop, the stock is up significantly over the past few months, and most long-term investors likely see the news as just the latest in Tesla's steady progress toward becoming a bigger player in the auto industry.

The cold never bothered Disney anyway

Meanwhile, shares of Disney were up almost 1% as the entertainment giant released the long-awaited sequel to one of its most successful films of all time. Frozen II was released in theaters Friday, and hopes are high that the movie will drive the holiday season for Disney.

The original Frozen came out in 2013, and for a company that's specialized in delivering new installments of hit franchises at a fevered pace, six years was a long time to wait for many fans of the movie. Most industry watchers believe that the anticipation among moviegoers young and old will turn into a guaranteed audience for the sequel.

Yet it's telling that the release might not even qualify as the biggest news item for Disney this month, let alone this year. The launch of the Disney+ streaming service has far larger implications for the company's business model as viewers make the transition away from traditional cable toward subscription-based streaming services.

Even so, Disney movies fuel related sales of toys, and during the holidays, retail sales are a key driver for the company. It'll be interesting to see how Frozen II does and what impact it has across Disney's business.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

The Walt Disney Company Stock Quote
The Walt Disney Company
$142.15 (-1.90%) $-2.75
Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
$1,095.00 (-4.35%) $-49.76
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$34,022.04 (-1.34%) $-461.68
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
$4,513.04 (-1.18%) $-53.96
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return) Stock Quote
NASDAQ Composite Index (Price Return)
$15,537.69 (0.00%) $0.00

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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