Visa (NYSE:V), the highest-weighted stock on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI), is helping to keep the Dow from sinking today as the stock responds to some positive economic numbers. As of 1:15 p.m. EDT the Dow was down 24 points to 16,919. The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX:^GSPC) was down four points to 1,947.

Three positive U.S. economic releases today are pushing Visa 0.7% higher, and one big event starting Thursday could add to Visa's momentum.





NFIB small business index




Job openings


4.5 million

4.2 million

Monthly hires


4.7 million

4.7 million

Wholesale sales




Wholesale inventories




The one to pay attention to is the Department of Labor's report on job openings and labor turnover. Compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the report showed that there were 4.5 million job openings on the last business day of April, up from 4.2 million in March. The increase in job openings was led by the private sector, signaling that the economy is growing. The report also showed that there were 4.7 million hires in April, the fastest rate in nearly six years but still below pre-recession levels.

US Hires: Total Nonfarm Chart

US Hires: Total Nonfarm data by YCharts.

Also positive was the small business sentiment as measured by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Both of these reports combined show that businesses are confident in the economy for the time being. Visa is benefiting because more spending by businesses and consumers means more transactions for Visa to process.

Further, Visa will get major exposure at the 2014 World Cup, which starts on Thursday in Brazil. Visa is one of six FIFA partners, which earns it "the highest level of association with FIFA and all FIFA events as well as playing a wider role in supporting the development of football all around the world, from grassroots right up to the top level at the FIFA World Cup."

While credit cards are a given in the U.S. and Visa is a household name, that's not the case around the world. Visa's partnership with FIFA and the World Cup gives the company exposure to hundreds of millions of consumers around the world who don't have credit cards. While overall numbers are hard to estimate, in 2010 more than 700 million fans tuned in to watch the final game of the World Cup. Visa currently has 1.4 billion cards in issue, giving consumers access to 27 million merchant outlets in local currencies in over 170 countries. Visa's marketing may give soccer fans worldwide the confidence to choose Visa's cards as their first.