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 end of the year is a time for reflecting on the past, and in doing so investors seem to feel confident about the market's future. This morning, the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES:^DJI) jumped to another nice gain of 75 points as the fabled Santa Claus rally seemed to get off on the right foot. Consumer spending data showed a 0.5% rise in November, its best gain in five months, while personal income rose 0.2%. Most of the Dow's components were higher, with Boeing (NYSE:BA) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) among the winners, but McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) lagged behind with minor declines.
Boeing gained 0.5% after the aerospace giant's Washington state-based machinists' union agreed to vote on a revised contract on Jan. 3. The revisions would reportedly require Boeing to keep production of the new 777X aircraft within the state. Given that Boeing has considered offers from states across the nation that are interested in having Boeing move production out of Washington, the deal could help union representatives avoid what could become a major defeat.
Verizon jumped 1%, despite most of the attention in telecom focusing outside the U.S. today. China Mobile's (NYSE:CHL) deal to offer iPhones is making a big splash given its huge ramifications for the Chinese smartphone market, and the deal could also have ripple effects internationally. Nevertheless, Verizon remains razor-focused on its U.S. business, with its full takeover of Verizon Wireless indicating confidence that the best prospects in telecom are close to home.
McDonald's, however, missed out on the rally, falling 0.24%. The fast-food chain has faced some problems lately, with a decision to close 74 restaurants in Japan and with its Mighty Wings menu addition not having gone nearly as well as investors had hoped. As restaurant patrons proved unwilling to pay up for the higher-priced product, McDonald's will have to revisit its attempt to widen margins by going beyond value-priced items to offer premium-quality alternatives.
Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends McDonald's. The Motley Fool owns shares of China Mobile and McDonald's. 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.