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.
Good news came in investor's way today as weekly jobless claims fell last week, and a revised GDP number beat expectations, sending stocks higher for the session.
The Labor Department reported this morning that last week's jobless claims fell to 331,000, down 6,000 from the revised number of 337,000 claims, from two weeks ago. But, this week, economists had expected claims to hit 332,000, so the report still managed to provide a slightly unexpected surprise.
The other economic data that came in today was the revised GDP number, which also beat expectations. The initial second-quarter reading from the Department of Commerce indicated that GDP grew by 1.7%, but today, that number was revised higher to 2.5%. Economists had expected the revision to come in at 2.2%, which would have been great, but the actual number is much better.
Those two reports helped push stocks higher today as the major indexes all closed in the black. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) ended the session up 16 points, or 0.11%, making it the worst of the three indexes. The S&P 500 increased by .02%, and the Nasdaq rose 0.75%. Now, let's take a look at a few of the Dow's big winners of the day.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) closed the day higher by 1.61%. Bloomberg News reported today that the company is discussing a possible investment in Foursquare, an app that allows users to read and post recommendations on local restaurants and services, similar to Angie's List or Trip Advisor. It's being reported that talks with Microsoft and Foursquare are in the advanced stages. In the past, Foursquare was a possible take-over candidate by Facebook and Yahoo, but nothing ever came from those talks. If the deal is made by Microsoft, it would give the company another avenue of possible growth, and keep the competition from being able to take the company over.
Boeing (NYSE:BA) was another big winner today, as the stock rose 1.61%. The company announced earlier today that Canada's WestJet Airlines had ordered 65 new Boeing planes worth $6.3 billion. WestJet will use 40 737 Max8s and 25 737 Max7s to replace older aircraft in its fleet. The expected delivery date for the order will start in September 2017. This is good news for Boeing and its shareholders, as it proves that the recent problems with some of the company's aircraft -- mainly the 787 Dreamliner -- is not scaring away customers or orders.
Because we're talking about the big winners of the day, it's hard to skip over Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which saw its shares rise 2.71% this afternoon. The move came as the result of news that the company is talking with Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) about purchasing its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless. According to reports, the deal could cost Verizon $130 billion, which is certainly a crazy-high number. But it would give the company undisputed complete control and the full amount of Verizon Wireless's profits.
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Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Microsoft and Facebook. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what caused the Dow's winners and losers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513.
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