On the surface, investors don't have a lot to cheer for today, as China's second-quarter GDP growth fell to 7.5% from 7.7% in Q1 2013 and retail sales numbers only increased by 0.4% in June, while economists were expecting a growth rate of 0.8%. But strong earnings reports from Citigroup and a few other companies are enough to keep investors optimistic. To read more about Citigroup's earnings, click here.
As of 2:45 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is poised to set a new all-time closing high today after accomplishing that task last Friday: The blue-chip index is up 38 points, or 0.25%, to 15,502. The S&P 500 is up 0.2%, while the Nasdaq has climbed 0.22%.
With the Dow split between winners and losers today, let's briefly take a look at a few of the day's movers and shakers.
Shares of Boeing (NYSE: BA) have rebounded nicely today, up 3.6% after falling as much as 7% last Friday on reports that a 787 Dreamliner had caught fire at London's Heathrow Airport. Investors reacted on Friday without any knowledge of what caused the fire, but many were speculating that it had involved the plane's battery system, which had caused the aircraft to be grounded for a few months earlier in the year. Today's rise likely owes to investigators reporting that there was no evidence that the fire started as a result of the battery system.
Despite cutting the price of its Surface tablets on Sunday, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is up 1% today. In what many see as an effort to boost the Surface's faltering sales, the entry-level 32-gigabyte Surface now retails for $349, down from $499, while price of the 64 GB tablet was cut from $599 to $499 on Sunday. However, the lower prices do not include the optional $100 keyboard. The Surface surely hasn't lived up to the hype or the hopes of many Microsoft shareholders. The company only shipped 900,000 units in the first quarter, while Apple shipped more than 19.5 million iPads in the first three months of 2013.
Two of the Dow's big losers today are its telecommunications companies, AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), down 0.6% and 0.9, respectively. The drops are likely a result of the announcement on Friday that AT&T had made an offer to purchase Leap Wireless for $15 per share, or about $1.2 billion. Some investors may feel AT&T offered too much or that it will find itself in a bidding war, eventually overpaying for the small wireless company. As for Verizon, the company will soon find itself under increased pressure to make an acquisition itself, because if AT&T can lock down this deal, it may be able to influence the industry in its favor and challenge Verizon for the top telecom spot.