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 Federal Reserve's decision to start cutting its bond-buying led to a nearly 300-point rally Wednesday for the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI). This morning, though, the Dow gave back some ground, falling 15 points as of 11 a.m. EST as investors considered the long-term implications of the end of quantitative easing. General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Boeing (NYSE:BA) were among the stocks contributing to the Dow's decline, while Chevron (NYSE:CVX) was among the best performers to the upside.
General Electric fell 1.4%, as investors weren't satisfied with the conglomerate's plan to boost revenue and earnings from its manufacturing businesses. CEO Jeff Immelt detailed plans to seek earnings growth of 10% or more from its core divisions, with major contributions expected from the aerospace engine-manufacturing segment and its oil-field services and equipment business. Yet even combined with cost-cutting initiatives, investors worry that the stock's already impressive gains could put a lid on how much any growth from the company will translate into higher share prices.
Boeing dropped 0.6% in the face of continued labor issues with its machinists' union. Dozens of union members held a rally yesterday at Boeing's primary Everett, Wash., facility, demanding the right to vote on a proposed deal that the union's leaders turned down. With Boeing threatening to move production of the next-generation 777X outside the state, management and its Washington-based workers are playing a high-stakes game of chicken in the fight over whether the company should still provide a traditional pension plan and other benefits. With a huge number of states looking to host 777X production, Boeing appears to be in a strong position, but potential negative publicity from its labor strife could cause problems in future negotiations with its workers.
Chevron climbed nearly 1% as oil prices rose once again, leaving the price of West Texas Intermediate crude just $1.50 shy of the key $100 per barrel mark. Investors hope the Fed's pronouncement about economic growth could lead to greater demand for energy in the near future, which could drive further oil-price gains. Moreover, Chevron is positioning itself well worldwide, with well-situated natural gas finds that could power a new industrial revolution in Asia. Overall, if the economy keeps firing on all cylinders, Chevron could be a big winner going forward.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron. The Motley Fool owns shares of General Electric Company. 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.