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Two News Reports From the Asia-Pacific Hurt the Markets

By Matt Thalman – Mar 10, 2014 at 7:00AM

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Reports that China's exports fell and the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 hurt the Dow.

Two news reports from the other side of the world are moving the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) this afternoon. First, new numbers show that Chinese exports fell by 18.1% in February compared to the year-ago period; leading some to believe that China's economy has not stopped slowing down. China is the world's second largest economy, so continued weakness there could lead to signs of wear in other countries and potentially another global economic crisis.  

As of 1 p.m. EDT, the Dow is off by 70 points, or 0.43%, the S&P 500 is down 0.23%, and the Nasdaq is lower by 0.18%.

Also hitting stocks is the Malaysia Airlines Boeing (BA -0.19%) 777 that went missing on Saturday. The aircraft disappeared about an hour after leaving Kuala Lumpur; its exact whereabouts are unknown. That news, combined with the report that Boeing has found hairline cracks on 40 of the 787 Dreamliners currently in production, has dropped shares by 2.4%. There have not been any reports of cracks found on planes in operation, but this discovery will likely delay deliveries and put another black mark on the 787 Dreamliner, which  has been plagued with problems over the past year and a half. Boeing will make it through this  latest problem, but there may be some rough roads ahead.

Outside the Dow, shares of SodaStream (SODA) are up more than 6%. The move comes after famed investors Whitney Tilson announced he was buying shares last week in the producer of at-home soda makers. Tilson decided to pull the trigger after the stock hit a 14-month low and following his own study that persuaded him that  the company, and its product, is not a fad. Tilson said he believes shares are undervalued due to investors misunderstanding the company's business. Tilson feels SodaStream's most valuable market is Western Europe, not the U.S. as most investors believe. The individual investor needs to remember that this is the opinion of one investor; don't run out and buy based on that assessment solely, because it may be wrong.

Meanwhile, shares of Facebook (META 0.85%), are up more than 3% after UBS analyst Eric Sheridan increased his price target on the stock from $72 to $90. Sheridan believes Facebook is still undermonetizing its customer base in relation to its peers, especially when time spent on the site is taken into account. He asserted that the company will continue to strengthen its monetization techniques and improve revenue and earnings.  

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Matt Thalman owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook and SodaStream. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook and SodaStream. 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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