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.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) enjoyed a second-straight day of triple-digit gains Tuesday, as news broke that the index will be replacing three of its components. But the impressive data from China was the main catalyst behind broad gains on Wall Street today. Investors were also relieved to see international leaders making progress toward a more peaceful resolution to the Syrian situation, as a proposition to confiscate the country's chemical weapons goes before the UN. The Dow took a cue from the mostly bullish developments, jumping 127 points, or 0.9%, to end at 15,191.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares climbed throughout the day, surging 2.3% as Apple's new line of iPhones and iOS7 software failed to impress the tech community. Microsoft's bitter rival is sticking with its high-end pricing structure, even as today's unveiling failed to bring any truly groundbreaking product innovations that the company became known for under Steve Jobs. If consumers aren't willing to keep shelling out a premium on the newest iPhones, it could represent a major opportunity for Microsoft and its mobile offerings.
Industrial stocks stood out today, ending as the top-performing sector in the market. Last month's industrial output from China, the world's second-largest economy, jumped more than 10% from last year, beating estimates. General Electric (NYSE:GE) shares were happy to piggyback on China's success, adding 2.1%. China's impressive retail numbers today on top of yesterday's surprisingly positive export figures certainly paint a rosy picture of the country's prospects.
Alas, not every stock in the Dow could rise Tuesday. Alcoa (NYSE:AA), which can be sensitive to developments in China's economy, instead shed 0.3%. In fact, the index's two biggest losers today, Alcoa and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), were two of the three stocks that will be dropped from the Dow come the closing bell on Sept. 20. Bank of America will also lose its blue-chip status.
HP shares shed 0.4% on the news, even though the decision doesn't fundamentally affect HP's business. Nike, Visa, and Goldman Sachs will be the newest additions to the price-weighted index.