The stock market traded quietly on Friday, as it closed a tumultuous week that saw the Dow hit 13,000 for the first time in years. Recovering from much bigger losses, the Dow Jones Industrials
Even with the lackluster day, some stocks managed to post decent gains. Let's take a look at three of them.
For AT&T, it all comes down to what's happening on the mobile front. Yesterday, the company said that it would put caps on its unlimited-data plans, forcing users to endure slower speeds if they go beyond the three-gigabyte level in any given month.
The move essentially puts grandfathered unlimited-data contracts on a par with newer tiered plans that explicitly limit data usage to three monthly gigabytes. As video and other high-bandwidth applications become more popular, AT&T and its peers will increasingly have to balance keeping high-volume, high-margin customers happy versus keeping its network running smoothly. Rival Verizon rose 0.6% on the news, as strengthening pricing power should benefit the entire industry.
Fighting with the government is rarely a good idea. Making it happy, though, can pay dividends.
JPMorgan Chase learned today that the Treasury Department would pay back about $89 million in incentives for implementing the government's Making Home Affordable Program by making favorable modifications to loan terms for struggling homeowners. The Treasury had withheld those incentives last year but now believes that the bank, along with Bank of America
Obviously, the amount involved is a drop in the bucket compared to the $25 billion settlement that banks made with federal and state governments last month. But getting the government back on the side of the banks would be a useful asset for JPMorgan Chase and its peers going forward.
Kraft rose, but not on any specific news. But fellow food stock Sara Lee ended up the day up 7% as the company gave further details on its planned spinoff of its coffee and tea division. Most exciting is the fact that Sara Lee shareholders will get a $3 special dividend when the spinoff takes place.
Excitement over spinoffs has heightened lately, with Kraft expecting to execute its own later this year. The big question still remains whether breaking a company apart truly creates value -- or merely redistributes it.
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