Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
They say money moves markets. I guess the phrase "Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas presidents move markets" wasn't catchy enough. Today the head honcho of the Dallas Fed, Richard Fisher, sparked selling on Wall Street when he suggested that the central bank wouldn't be pumping $85 billion a month into the bond market forever. The blasphemy caused indexes to fall from record highs reached on Friday, with the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) shedding 2 points, or 0.2%, to close at 1,707.
Struggling department-store mainstay J.C. Penney (OTC:JCPN.Q) plummeted 6% Monday as the announcement of a new key executive at the retailer failed to impress. Debra Berman, previously a marketing executive with Kraft Foods Group will take control of J.C. Penney's marketing, filling a position that has been vacant for more than a year. The move threatens to raise questions from shareholders like: "What?" and "Really? Kraft?"
Telecom equipment company JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ:VIAV), while it didn't manage to hire any former mac 'n' cheese dons, was still able to slump 2.1% on the day. The stock is amazingly volatile; shares are nearly three times as jumpy as the broader stock market. Plus, with earnings set for release next week, shareholders will see how the company performed in the most recent quarter. While JDS is expected to post a profit, the company has lost money in four of the past five quarters, so a little pre-earnings anxiety is understandable.
Lastly, shares in electric utilities player FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) dropped 1.4% Monday, in a rare case of a stock movement that's almost entirely explainable right from the textbook. Today was FirstEnergy's ex-dividend date, which means anyone selling the stock today who owned it on Friday will still be entitled to the next quarterly dividend of $0.55 per share. Therefore, one would expect some short-term investors to sell the stock off to the tune of 55 cents a share, a phenomenon that was very nearly met by today's 54-cent decline.