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Stock Market Today: Apple’s Play to Revolutionize TV and Lions Gate’s New Franchise

By Demitri Kalogeropoulos - Mar 24, 2014 at 9:00AM

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Why Apple, Lions Gate, and Cisco Systems stocks are on the move today.

Investors can expect a flat start to the stock market to begin this trading week: The Dow Jones Industrial Average ( ^DJI 0.48% ) has gained a moderate 33 points in pre-market trading. World markets were mixed in overnight trading, with European stocks falling slightly as Asian shares rose despite new data pointing to a continuing economic slowdown in China.

Closer to home, news is breaking on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Apple ( AAPL 2.23% ), Lions Gate ( LGF-A 0.00% ), and Cisco Systems ( CSCO 2.03% ).

The current Apple TV offering. Image source: Apple.

Apple is dominating headlines this morning after The Wall Street Journal detailed talks between the tech giant and Comcast ( CMCSA 0.45% ) aimed at creating a service that changes the way TV is delivered to consumers. The discussions are far from final, the Journal reported, but they center around an Apple-branded set-top box that would stream live and on-demand programming into homes while making use of a direct connection to Comcast's cable network. That connection would ensure that the new app-based TV experience is delivered as seamlessly as channel flipping occurs today. If the deal goes through -- a big if considering all the pieces that need to fall into place -- it would give Apple access to a huge new market. Comcast, meanwhile, would likely see a boost in subscriber retention from teaming up with one of the world's most loved brands. Apple stock was up 1.2% in pre-market trading, while Comcast's stock rose 1.3%.

Lions Gate shares were up 5.5% in pre-market trading after a strong weekend launch for the company's film Divergent. Despite almost uniformly negative reviews from critics, the movie booked $56 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales and an average grade of A from fans, according to CinemaScore. That box office take wasn't close to The Hunger Games' $152 million launch, or even Twilight's $70 million start, but it will be enough to get the franchise going. "This is exactly where we wanted to be," a Lions Gate executive told The Wall Street Journal. "It's the beginning of another franchise for us," he said.

Finally, Cisco will unveil plans today to enter the market for corporate cloud computing services, according to the Journal. The networking giant expects to invest $1 billion in that business, which will bring it into more direct competition with Amazon.com's ( AMZN -0.03% ) Web services division. Cisco's sales have turned negative lately, but it hopes that a bold push into growing industries such as cloud computing could reverse that trend. Cisco stock was up 0.5% in pre-market trading. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Stocks Mentioned

Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return) Stock Quote
Dow Jones Industrial Average (Price Return)
^DJI
$34,649.98 (0.48%) $166.26
Apple Inc. Stock Quote
Apple Inc.
AAPL
$168.99 (2.23%) $3.69
Cisco Systems, Inc. Stock Quote
Cisco Systems, Inc.
CSCO
$55.95 (2.03%) $1.11
Amazon.com, Inc. Stock Quote
Amazon.com, Inc.
AMZN
$3,505.89 (-0.03%) $-1.18
Comcast Corporation Stock Quote
Comcast Corporation
CMCSA
$50.20 (0.45%) $0.23
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Stock Quote
Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.
LGF-A
$14.65 (0.00%) $0.00

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

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