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 Institute of Supply Management's October reading of the manufacturing index rose to 56.4, up from 56.2 in September, and much higher than some economists' predictions that it would fall to around 55. Meanwhile, the major indexes are mixed this afternoon . As of 12:45 p.m. EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is higher by 31 points or 0.2%, while the S&P 500 is off by 0.01%, and the Nasdaq is down 0.16%.
But just because the major indexes aren't making big moves today doesn't mean individual stocks aren't making waves. Let's take a look at a few of today's big movers.
Shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) are higher by 6% this afternoon. The moves comes after the company rolled out a new website that management hopes will help transition the company from being a daily deal operator to more of an online marketplace. In addition, a new version of Groupon's app is available for download. While this is a sure sign the company is trying to make changes and move away from the fragmented daily deals business, it is a bold move since the world of online retail is also just as popular and full of competitors as the coupon business is. With this move, Groupon is attempting to change its image and its business model, which means there is a lot of room for failure. Investors should be cautious of this stock and will be likely best served waiting this transition out on the sidelines.
Another company going through a transition is J.C. Penney (OTC:JCPN.Q), and its shares are up 10% today. There is very little news pertaining to the company today, but it was announced yesterday that the company received Energy Star certifications for more than 500 of its stores and locations around the country. Getting a reward is always nice, but the company is still in dire straits as it tries to regain customer traffic and sales it lost during the tenure of former CEO Ron Johnson.
And finally shares of Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) are up more than 5% at this time. The stock has been on a rocky road the past few years and although it is up 8% year to date, some long-term investors are likely still under water.
While it seems CEO Meg Whitman has thus far taken the company down the right path, management predicts that the company still will not be profitable for a few more quarters and there is still a long way to go until the company is back on safe, solid ground.
Investors who want to sleep well at night would be better off staying away from all three of these companies despite their big moves today.