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General Motors Announces Global Sales Total and Boeing Faces Another 787 Battery Problem

By Daniel Miller - Jan 15, 2014 at 3:00PM

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General Motors is slipping today despite recent sales and dividend announcements. Also, is Boeing about to have more Dreamliner problems?

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 Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.23%) is trading 0.75% higher at 3 p.m. EST after some upbeat earnings and as U.S. producer prices rose 0.4% in December, reversing course after two consecutive months of declines. Prices were only up 1.2% last year, which was the smallest increase since 2008, showing that inflation pressures appear to be under control. As earnings season continues to ramp up, here are some companies making headlines today.

Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. Photo credit: Boeing.

Boeing (BA -0.88%) has hundreds of millions of dollars riding on the success of its troubled 787 Dreamliner. Roughly nine months after battery troubles forced the 787 line to be grounded, another incident surfaced this week. Smoke was reported aboard a Boeing 787 at Tokyo's Narita Interntional Airport.

Tuesday's incident "appears to have involved the venting of a single battery cell" and occurred during scheduled maintenance activities with no passengers on board," according to a Boeing statement quoted by CNN. "The improvements made to the 787 battery system last year appear to have worked as designed."

This is the last thing investors want to hear after previous battery problems, as well as 787 production delays and budget overruns. So far this doesn't appear to be as widespread problem as seen nine months ago, but it will be something to keep an eye on as the situation unfolds.

Outside the Dow, General Motors (GM -0.47%) is making multiple headlines this week. Late yesterday, GM's board of directors declared the automaker's first quarterly dividend since 2008, at $0.30 per share. That's a yield of roughly 3%, right in line with cross-town rival Ford (F -0.46%) and more than double the yields of Japanese competitors Toyota and Honda.

Chevrolet's Silverado and Corvette Stingray took home Car and Truck of the year awards at the 2014 NAIAS. Photo credit: GM.

General Motors also announced that it delivered 9.7 million vehicles across the globe last year; that's a final tally that will top Volkswagen but likely fall short of Toyota's No. 1 spot. The 4% gain in vehicles delivered was led by sales in China and the United States. General Motors also plans to keep launching a healthy number of vehicles.

"A healthy auto market in the United States and China, and very successful product launches at all of our brands worldwide drove GM's growth in 2013 and helped us navigate difficult conditions in Europe and parts of South America and Asia," new GM President Dan Ammann said in a press release.

General Motors last year launched 18 vehicles in the U.S., and this year it plans to roll out another 15 new or upgraded models. GM and its joint ventures will unleash 17 new or upgraded models this year in China, and will bring four additiona plants online through 2015 to bring its total production capacity to 5 million annual units. For comparison, GM delivered 3.1 million units in China last year.

Fool contributor Daniel Miller owns shares of Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and General Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. 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.

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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$32,803.47 (0.23%) $76.65
The Boeing Company Stock Quote
The Boeing Company
BA
$165.04 (-0.88%) $-1.46
Ford Motor Company Stock Quote
Ford Motor Company
F
$15.30 (-0.46%) $0.07
General Motors Company Stock Quote
General Motors Company
GM
$36.06 (-0.47%) $0.17

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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