Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Although the political positioning and mess in Syria continues, the market is seemingly ignoring that today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) continues its solid week, trading up 0.62%, as one stock is hauling the composite higher. Here are some of the movers and shakers in the markets today.
Because the Dow is price-weighted, certain components have more impact on its movements. International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) is the Dow's largest-weighted component, and it's leading the Dow higher today, up 2.04%, as of 2:45 P.M. EDT. IBM announced it plans to sell its customer-care business to SYNNEX for $505 million. It could be a nice move for IBM as the company continues to shed low-margin businesses, and grows business in more-profitable software and service offerings.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was another big winner in the Dow today, up 1.33%. Microsoft is seemingly gaining from Apple's pain today, as the latter is trading down nearly 5% today. Microsoft investors are hoping that the Xbox One release, and a refreshed Surface tablet, can help revenues surge. Investors are also slowly coming to grips with the $7-billion Nokia cell phone business purchase, which could hold more promise now that Apple's recent announcement has failed to really "wow" investors.
While Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) investors haven't seemed thrilled with the company over the last two days, I'm comfortable with Apple's strategy to offer the 5C and 5S as a replacement for the iPhone 5. One key development for investors to watch is how well the 5C can boost sales in China, as the price point may still be too high for the masses to purchase.
Outside of the Dow, General Motors (NYSE:GM) is down 1.78% today as Canadian and Ontario governments unloaded roughly 25% of their stake, or 30-million shares, of GM common shares from the 2009 bailout. Personally, as the U.S. continues to dwindle down their share holdings, I think the selling pressure could result in a solid entry point into the rebounding automaker.
GM's sales of its highly profitable Silverado and Sierra, which are estimated to bring in a majority of North America profits, are up 25% and 24%, respectively, this year. Its luxury Cadillac brand is also selling well, up over 30% year to date, versus last year. GM has a leading position in China, the world's largest and fastest growing automotive market. The company is in better financial shape, and is knocking on the door of investment -grade ratings, providing yet another positive catalyst for potential investors to consider.
Fool contributor Daniel Miller owns shares of Apple and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, International Business Machines, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.