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.
During what many believe will be his last public speech as the Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke assured listeners that the central bank was committed to assisting the economy, and helping it grow until it can stand on its own feet before ending the Fed's quantitative easing programs. Currently, the Federal Reserve is scheduled to purchase only $75 billion in assets this month, a figure that is down from $85 billion. But that reassurance from Bernanke wasn't enough to give the markets a boost today as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) finished the session up a mere 28 points, or 0.17%, the S&P 500 actually lost 0.03%, and the Nasdaq declined 0.27%.
While the major indexes were mixed, so were a number of consumer-oriented stocks today. Two big losers today were J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) and Herbalife (NYSE:HLF), which lost 1.58% and 3.43%, respectively, while Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Pandora (NYSE:P) jumped 1.34% and 3.1%, respectively.
J.C. Penney lost ground after the Wall Street Journal reported that talks between the company and Macy's pertaining to its Martha Stewart designed goods are not going well. Individuals familiar with the matter are saying that talks have stalled and, at this point, it would seem that a judge will decide what happens. That may not be the best thing for J.C. Penney, because Macy's and Martha Stewart had a contract prior to the one she signed with J.C. Penney's, which had verbiage about how Martha Stewart would not work with another company during the contracted time frame she had with Macy's.
As for Herbalife, the decline comes after the Federal Trade Commission said that it will announce Tuesday a new program to help fight misleading advertisements of weight loss products. Many of Herbalife's products are considered dietary supplements so, at this point, it is unknown how those labels, or the marketing of the products, will need to change in the future.
As for the two winners, they both jumped higher after positive analyst comments. Shares of Yahoo jumped higher after an analyst from Stifel Nicholas increased the price target on the company from $40 to $49. The analyst believes that the Chinese Internet giant Alibaba will delay its initial public offering until sometime in 2015, which will make the 24% stake Yahoo owns even more valuable. Stifel Nicholas still has a buy rating on the stock.
Pandora received some bullish comments from an analyst at Canaccord Genuity. The analyst sees revenue per hour of listening improving for the streaming music provider, and further revenue growth due to this metric increasing. As a result, analyst Michael Graham has forecast revenue of $198 million in the latest quarter, which is higher than the average of analyst's forecasts, which comes in at $187.9 million.
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