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 stock market is down today as financial and technology stocks continued their big fall from Friday. As of 1:30 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down 32 points to 15,847. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was down nine points to 1,781.
Financial stocks are leading the stock market's drop today. On the Dow, the drop is being led by largest component Visa (NYSE:V), which is down 2.38% to $216.03. The payment processor reports quarterly earnings on Thursday morning. Analysts expect the company to report earnings-per-share growth of 12% to $2.16 and revenue growth of 10% to $3.14 billion. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), the third largest Dow component, is the second-worst blue-chip stock today, down 1.2% to $165.63.
Among technology stocks, IBM, the second largest Dow component, is down 0.6%, while Google is down 2% and Microsoft is down 1.7%. Twitter is the worst performing megacap technology stock, falling 6.1% to $57.91.
The one megacap technology stock rising today is Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), up 0.72% to $550. Apple reports earnings after the market close today. The company has guided revenue between $55 billion and $58 billion. Analysts expect earnings per share of $14.09 on revenue of $57.46 billion.
On the conference call scheduled for 5 p.m. EST we might also hear more from CEO Tim Cook on Apple's capital allocation plans. Activist investor Carl Icahn, who owns $3 billion worth of shares, has been calling for Apple to buy back a large amount of stock. I have backed a large special dividend. In any event, we agree that Apple sitting on $150 billion in cash is a waste of investors' money. Apple has at least implemented a dividend and announced a buyback authorization, but only plans on returning money that it holds domestically. Apple has said it plans on keeping the $100 billion or so that it holds in foreign banks until the U.S. changes its tax laws or institutes a repatriation tax holiday. But with more shareholder pressure that could change.