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Solid Motor Vehicle Sales and Hot Twitter News Help Stocks to Fresh Records

By Jack Kramer and Nick Martell – Jul 1, 2014 at 11:00PM

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The two things you need to know on July 2.

Soccer can be slow. And so is the week before July, as the nation saunters through a four-day week. Investors were mainly looking forward to the upcoming jobs news this week (ADP reports June's job numbers Wednesday, but the Labor Department will announce the official number on Thursday). As Wall Street slowly left the office early to catch the U.S. World Cup game, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.43%) managed to jump 129 points Tuesday to reach new record highs.
1. Twitter unveils cool new feature (and new CFO)
You're probably on Instagram right now, but for those of you who enjoy 140-character literature, Twitter (TWTR) made two major announcements that sent the stock up nearly 3% in after-hours trading on Tuesday.

It was a #OneTwoPunch in the Twittersphere. First, the company unveiled a "Buy Now" button that would add an e-commerce element, allowing you the purchase those kinky Miley Cyrus booty shorts right after she describes them to her nation of followers. The button doesn't officially work yet, but Wall Street expects it to play a major role in the company's plan to become profitable (it isn't yet).

And then Twitter made some serious HR moves. Investors were pumped to see that Anthony Noto, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, will receive 1.5 million shares of Twitter stock and $250,000 in annual salary to become the new CFO. Now-former CFO Mike Gupta is moving over to the "Strategic Investments" division. Awkward.

The takeaway is that while you've been busy slacking off before the July 4 holiday, Twitter has been getting after it like it's heading to an NFL preseason camp. Earlier in the week, Twitter introduced a new ad unit that will let you download third-party apps directly from Twitter's mobile app, and it bought up TapCommerce, a start-up that will better target ads to users.

2. June motor vehicle sales show Americans don't mind recalls
Americans don't care about public twerking, and they apparently don't care about recalls, either. Despite embarrassingly recalling millions of faulty cars recently, the national Motor Vehicle Sales Report for June showed that General Motors (GM 0.81%) boasted sales gains last month. Clearly, the connection between broken cars and quality isn't happening in the minds of American consumers, who snatched up over 267,000 GM vehicles in June, up 1% from a year earlier.
The Debbie-downer award goes to Ford. The company's sales slipped by 6% after deciding to discount its powerhouse F-series pickup truck line. Ford's (F 1.99%) putting its truck-makin' plants on pause later this year to prepare for the next generation of F-150 trucks. That hurts sales in the short term (though idle plant workers get some vacay time), but since the F-150 is the highest-selling vehicle in Amurica, it's worth it the investment.
The takeaway is that analysts were expecting overall motor vehicle sales to fall, but they ended up pretty much flat last month. May was a hot sales month after all those winter polar vortexes stopped scaring away consumers, so this was a major confidence boost for investors with exposure to the U.S. auto industry.
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Jack Kramer owns shares of Ford. Nick Martell has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Automatic Data Processing, Ford, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Tesla Motors, and Twitter and owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. We Fools don't 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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