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.
Despite yesterday's fear that the Federal Reserve may begin tapering its stimulus efforts within the next few months, positive economic data released this morning is helping push stocks higher.
Initial jobless claims fell by 21,000 last week to hit 323,000; that was 33,000 fewer claims than economists expected. The Purchasing Managers Index jumped from 51.8 in October to 54.3 this month. Freddie Mac reported that 30-year interest rates fell last week from 4.35% to 4.22%, which should help get would-be homeowners into new properties before the Fed does begin to allow rates to move higher. Lastly, the Senate Banking Committee today voted to approve Janet Yellen as the next Federal Reserve chair, sending the nomination to the full Senate.
With all this news and a few smaller items, as of 1:05 p.m. EST the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is higher by 82 points, or 0.52%, to 15,983, once near breaking through the 16,000 barrier. The S&P 500 is higher by 0.56%, while the Nasdaq leads all three of the major indexes with a 0.80% rise.
A winner and a loser
Shares of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) have risen nearly 3%. The move comes after the company rolled out a new fixture to its e-commerce website called Freebies. This addition gives shoppers a quick and easy way to save money when shopping at the online store they prefer. In the Freebies section, users will find promotion codes, digital coupons, sales, giveaways, and other marketing items. This new section is part of the company's turnaround plan and is a way to increase traffic back to the Groupon website. Only time will tell whether this works. Investors should sit this one out, as there are still too many unknowns and too much risk with Groupon.
Heading in the opposite direction from Groupon is GameStop (NYSE:GME), which is down by 5.6%. The decline comes after the company reported earnings prior to the opening bell today. Despite posting revenue of $2.11 billion and earnings per share of $0.58, which both beat analysts' expectations; the company's forecast is what's causing the stock price to fall. Management stated that EPS for the coming holiday shopping season would come in between $1.97 and $2.14, but Wall Street was expecting $2.15 per share. Furthermore, projected full-year 2013 earnings per share is between $3.08 and $3.25, which has a midpoint below the $3.23 analysts expected. Some investors are likely overreacting today based on these forecasts and the results the company just posted. So if you are a current shareholder, just sit tight and ride this downturn out.
A deeper Foolish perspective
Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what causing the big market movers of the day, and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513.
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