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 markets are down as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) falls back from the 16,000-point mark it hit for the first time earlier this week. As of 2:30 p.m. EST, the Dow's lost about 27 points in what's been a lackluster day for the blue-chip index. Stocks are pretty evenly split on the Dow, but two big movers stand out. Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) gained more than 1% to rank among the Dow's leaders, while Boeing's (NYSE:BA) plunged by more than 2% to fall to the bottom of the index. Let's catch up on what you need to know.
Boeing's potential keeps rising
Boeing's stock is diving despite a good turn at the recent Dubai Air Show, where Boeing and rival Airbus racked up a combined $179 billion in orders, according to Bloomberg. It's a huge total for these two aerospace leaders, and Boeing crossed the 1,000-order mark in total for its new 787 Dreamliner airplane. It's a significant milestone for a craft that was beset by problems to start the year, and it's a testament to Boeing's resilience that the 787 looks to be soaring into a bright future.
So why are investors down on the stock today? Shares have boomed more than 77% so far this year, an impressive rise for such a sturdy and giant company like Boeing. It's no surprise that investors would want to reap rewards from their investments after such a gain, but Boeing might not be done rising as it pushes into next year.
Despite U.S. defense budget cuts that have threatened the growth of its military aircraft sales -- both revenue and operating margin are down for the segment -- Boeing's civilian aircraft business has exploded in 2013 with the Dreamliner's arrival. The division makes up 60% of Boeing's total sales, so as long as civil aircraft orders continue to perform well -- even if not up to the boom seen in Dubai -- Boeing will continue to fly high.
Microsoft, on the other hand, isn't letting any investors down today with its rise. This stock hasn't performed like Boeing this year, but Microsoft's shares still have gained more than 33% year to date. Investors today are warming up to the end-of-the-week launch of the company's new Xbox One entertainment and gaming console, which is looking to rise as high as rival Sony's (NYSE:SNE) PlayStation 4 console has during its debut.
Sony's PS4 racked up enough pre-orders to record more than 1 million sales in just its first 24 hours after launch. If the Xbox One can perform up to the same standards, Microsoft will be looking good heading into the holiday season -- and it will keep up with Sony in the key early window as these two giants vie for dominance in the new generation of consoles.
Fool contributor Dan Carroll has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of 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.