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.
With the fear of U.S. intervention in Syria evaporating and Larry Summers pulling out of the race for Federal Reserve chairman, the markets are soaring today. As of 12:45 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up 169 points, or 1.1%. The S&P 500 is up 0.94%, while the Nasdaq has risen 0.33%. Both the Dow and S&P 500 are now within 1% of their all-time highs, which were set just a few months ago.
Only two of the Dow's 30 component stocks are in the red today: Beleaguered tech giants Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard have recorded modest losses despite a lack of major company-specific news.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is among today's big blue-chip losers, which is one reason the Nasdaq is struggling to keep up with the other two indexes. The stock is off by 2.2% today as investors grow concerned that the company hasn't announced the iPhone 5C preorders, as it typically does a few days after a new phone is rolled out. Many believe that the radio silence may be a sign that orders are weak and that Apple is struggling to keep consumers interested in its product. Apple has other successful products, such as the iPad and the Mac line of computers, but the iPhone has been Apple's flagship product for many years now, so investors may be wondering what could possibly take its place.
Another stock losing out today is J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), which has fallen 0.2% on news that Steven Roth, the CEO of Vornado Realty and a major shareholder of J.C. Penney, stepped down from the board abruptly. Vornado Realty holds a 6.1% stake in the company and said that it would be reviewing its holding now that Steven Roth has stepped down. This could be a sign that Roth no longer believes in the company and Vornado will soon be dumping its shares. Other large activist investors -- Bill Ackman being the first -- have given up on the retailer, cutting their losses before they grow worse. J.C. Penney is another company investors really need to be careful with, because although some say the company's property is of value, a major realty specialist has left the company, which could indicate that the property is not worth much at all.
Fool contributor Matt Thalman owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. 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.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. 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.