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.
U.S. stocks are little changed ahead of the hugely anticipated outcome of the Fed's September policy meeting, with the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) up less than a point and the narrower, price-weighted Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) down about 14 points as of 10:05 a.m. EDT.
Wall Street's consensus view appears to be that the central bank will begin to implement a modest drawdown, or "tapering," of its $85 billion-per-month bond purchases, on the order of perhaps $10 billion per month. If that's the outcome, the market's reaction will probably be anticlimactic, while anything well outside that range (no tapering or a substantial reduction in bond-buying) would have the same effect on Wall Street as prodding a caged animal with a stick. I'm siding with the consensus on this one.
The power of design
The "mobile wars" roll on with news this morning concerning two of the key combatants:
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is rolling out iOS 7 today, and the Financial Times is reporting that the response from developers and designers who have been allowed to test-drive the new operating system is mixed. iOS 7 is the first major rollout under the design leadership of Sir Jonathan Ive, who has touted its simplicity and claims it is "completely new" yet "instantly recognizable." Either way, the initial reaction may not matter: As Gentry Underwood, designer and co-founder of Mailbox, an email app acquired by Dropbox this year, told the FT:
My first reaction was a mixture of shock and denial. I [expletive] and moaned and was pretty angry. ... The first reaction [to iOS 7] will be strongly negative, but two months from now people won't think about it.
Speaking of design and user interface, the FT also reports that microblogging platform Twitter, which is moving quickly toward an IPO, is planning its most extensive product overhaul in nearly two years. Whereas Twitter currently offers a consistent interface across devices (PC, smartphones, and tablets), it will soon produce a mobile app that will enable users to organize content around trending topics, particularly as they relate to news or live events. The app will also be more photo- and video-friendly.
Rather than user growth, the redesign appears to emphasize user retention; making it easier to find and organize relevant content will no doubt contribute to increased engagement. Furthermore, matching users with relevant content is key when it comes to improving the effectiveness of advertising on the platform -- something Twitter is keen to do as it builds relationships with advertisers in the run-up to its IPO.
Fool contributor Alex Dumortier, CFA has no position in any stocks mentioned; you can follow him on LinkedIn. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. 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.