Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Index futures indicate a strong start for the stock market today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) set to rise by 65 points at the opening bell. This weekend was chock-full of business developments that could move stocks, including activity that should give Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF-A) shares a lift today.
Beginning with radio, Sirius XM is up this morning after the stock was the focus of a Barron's magazine cover story suggesting it could be worth $5.50, or 50% more than Friday's closing price. Barron's pointed to Sirius' growing subscriber base and ample free cash flow as two big reasons to be bullish on the stock. Rising profitability could also drive shares higher, as margins climb toward the 40% that CEO Jim Meyer says the company can achieve. Still, key to that optimistic scenario unfolding is a further rebound in auto sales that would power Sirius' subscriber gains over the next few years. The stock is up 6% in premarket trading.
Next, Microsoft met Sony's challenge over the weekend and sold 1 million Xbox One gaming consoles in the first day after launching, just as Sony managed a week before with its PlayStation 4. Microsoft's device did go on sale in 13 markets, however, while Sony's result only included the markets of Canada and the United States. And the Xbox One launch didn't go off completely without a hitch. Some consumers, including at least one Fool, received defective units that will have to be replaced. Still, with its console priced at $500, Microsoft's healthy initial sales numbers point to a huge demand for video game hardware and software over the holiday season and into next year. Microsoft's stock is up marginally in premarket trading.
Finally, Lions Gate has scored another box office hit. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire trounced the financial debut that its predecessor set by almost $100 million, on its way to collecting $307 million in theaters over the weekend. That puts Catching Fire on pace to easily beat the $691 million that The Hunger Games accomplished globally -- and it makes $1 billion a real possibility for the movie. Lions Gate's revenue and earnings are dependent on hits, making them very volatile. But at least they are set to spike in the right direction over the next few quarters as the company capitalizes on the success of this film. Lions Gate's stock is up 2% in premarket trading.