It's the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI), dressed up for Halloween as a boring accountant. How cute!
I wonder what it wants? Probably candy -- or how about some profits from your portfolio. How devilish!
Indeed, don't be fooled by the Dow's innocuous costume, dear investors, as there's a much less rosy reality hiding behind its vintage pocket protector and tape-affixed glasses.
Today's three massive undercurrents
While the storied blue-chip index is down a forgettable 18 points in intraday trading, equating to a loss of only 0.14%, there are three major undercurrents swirling fiendishly about below the surface.
First, while this hasn't been officially confirmed by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), rumors are circulating that its chief executive officer, Tim Cook, donned a toupee and did his best impersonation of Donald Trump, a la The Apprentice. According to reports, Cook fired two of the tech giant's executives in a historic shake-up following a series of atypical missteps.
Also in the tech space, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is down sharply on heavy volume after a lockup period on its shares expired and flooded the market with sell orders. The word on the street is that Mark Zuckerberg dressed up as Shirley Temple. No one knows why.
Second, American carmakers are in vogue today after General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) reported third-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates. Both saw increased demand in North America and lagging sales in Europe.
After confirming that he's been asked to star in the next Avengers movie alongside Captain America, Ford CEO Alan Mulally noted: "The Ford team delivered a best-ever third quarter, driven by record results in North America and the continued strength of Ford Credit. While we are facing near-term challenges in Europe, we are fully committed to transforming our business [there] by moving decisively to match production to demand, improve revenue through new products and a stronger brand, improve our cost efficiencies and take advantage of opportunities to profitably grow our business."
Finally, the last undercurrent has to do with Hurricane Sandy, or rather what it left behind. As economists and policymakers continue to sort out the damage, investors have already begun apportioning profits and losses. Home Depot (NYSE:HD) is the Dow's best-performing stock after consumers ravaged its shelves to prepare for the storm and are bound to do so again as repairs get underway. Meanwhile, shares in both Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and AT&T (NYSE:T) are down following a report that roughly 25% of cell towers in the affected area were either disrupted or damaged.
The ghoulish bottom line
Given that it's Halloween, I've decided to put all my money in candy stocks. Just kidding; I'll content myself with eating our stash before it's rudely ravaged by a mob of neighborhood children.
On a more serious note, check out our new in-depth report on Apple. Our resident Apple expert discusses both the opportunities and risks associated with holding its stock. Best of all, he'll provide you with regular updates for the next year. To access this report, simply click here now.
John Maxfield has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Ford, Facebook, and AT&T and has the following options: long JAN 2014 $20.00 calls on Facebook. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple, Ford, Facebook, General Motors Company, The Home Depot, and AT&T.; 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.
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