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Dow Rallies 103 Points, but J.C. Penney Shares Continue to Slide

By John Divine – Feb 24, 2014 at 6:12PM

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Infoblox Inc. and Walt Disney stock both outperform in the stock market today

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 bulls were out in force on Monday, as stocks in the black outnumbered those in the red by a two-to-one ratio. Seven of the market's 10 sectors posted gains on Monday, leaving defensive investments like utilities and telecommunications stocks in the dust. With the ousting of Ukraine's president, tensions in the country are ebbing, and investors cheered as the escalating conflict took a calmer turn. Exuding confidence in the health of the global economy, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.10%) jumped 103 points, or 0.6%, to end at 16,207.

There are thousands of businesses in the U.S. that stand to benefit directly from a stronger global economy, but few are as firmly positioned overseas as blue chip mainstay Walt Disney (DIS 0.85%). Shares hit 52-week highs in trading, and finished 0.8% higher as the stock continues to outperform in the wake of Disney's surprise holiday blockbuster, Frozen. While Frozen has been a top-10 movie in the U.S. box office for an astonishing 14 weeks (the next closest, Ride Along, has been top-10 for six weeks), its blowout success is even more evident abroad. Frozen, which cost $150 million to make, has grossed $384 million in the U.S. -- and nearly $1 billion worldwide -- making it a fairy tale for investors, as well.

J.C. Penney (JCPN.Q) stock, on the other hand, has looked more like a nightmare than a fairy tale for shareholders. Its travails didn't stop today, as J.C. Penney stock fell 7.3%; the company announces earnings on Wednesday, and Wall Street's bracing for the worst. While pointing fingers won't lift any portfolios, today's slump can indeed be blamed largely on a rival department store. Dillard's lost more than 6% today as investors reacted to pressured margins and disappointing earnings from the retailer.

Like J.C. Penney, Infoblox (NYSE: BLOX) also reports quarterly results on Wednesday. Judging by Infoblox's 6% jump today, investors don't seem overly concerned about the report. That's probably because investors got all their worrying over with on a single day of trading two weeks ago, when shares plunged 48% after Infoblox issued anemic sales projections for the quarter and year. The stock's managed to make up some of that ground recently, and the shares are up nearly 18% in the last three sessions after Goldman Sachs said the sell-off created an attractive entry point for investors.

John Divine has the following options: long January 2015 $10 calls on J.C. Penney Company. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

The Motley Fool recommends Goldman Sachs and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Dillard's and Walt Disney. 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.

Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
$34,429.88 (0.10%) $34.87
Walt Disney Stock Quote
Walt Disney
$99.43 (0.85%) $0.84
J.C. Penney Stock Quote
J.C. Penney

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

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