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AT&T's Facebook Win Pulls the Dow Higher

By Travis Hoium - Apr 4, 2013 at 3:45PM

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Facebook's new app will be exclusive to AT&T at launch.

Stocks moved marginally higher today on mixed economic news. Jobless claims rose by 28,000 to 385,000 last week, which was higher than expected, but the reading had some quirks related to the Easter holiday and spring break. The Department of Labor adjusts numbers for seasonal swings, but holidays can throw off those adjustments, so the labor market may not be as bad as this week's reading indicates. So far, markets have shrugged off the data: The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.78%) is up 0.22%, and the S&P 500 (^GSPC 1.60%) has gained 0.23% ahead of more important jobs numbers tomorrow.

AT&T (T -0.09%) is up 1.5% after Facebook (FB 1.25%) said its new "Home" smartphone interface will be available exclusively on the wireless network. Facebook is attempting to make its services just as easy to operate on Android phones as Google's. Considering Facebook's popularity, this could be a big seller, but it's too early to tell right now. I'm not sure that AT&T's exclusivity is enough to make consumers switch from other carriers -- or that the exclusivity will even last long.

McDonald's is up 1.4% today, crossing the $100 mark, despite protests against the company in New York City today. Workers at fast-food chains are protesting low wages, and McDonald's is a big target to go after when you want to make a point. As an investor, I'd look more closely at the stock's juicy 3.1% dividend and incredible brand as an appetizing investment in an uncertain environment.

IBM (IBM 1.02%) is one of few Dow components moving lower today, losing 0.8%. The company's endless back-and-forth with Oracle over the performance of newly launched servers continues, and IBM has shot back at recent claims that Oracle still made faster and cheaper servers. The rivalry between the two is fierce, and investors just don't know who will take share at this point. Testing claims are one thing, but the real winner will be determined based on the income statements of these two companies over the next few quarters, so keep an eye on IBM's gain or loss of server market share.

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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$32,892.25 (0.78%) $255.06
International Business Machines Corporation Stock Quote
International Business Machines Corporation
IBM
$138.29 (1.02%) $1.40
AT&T Inc. Stock Quote
AT&T Inc.
T
$21.30 (-0.09%) $0.02
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$4,122.73 (1.60%) $64.89
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
FB
$194.03 (1.25%) $2.40

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

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