The market is in full churn mode moving both up and down today
before closing near the flat-line. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
closed down 44 points finishing the day at 16,414. The
Standard & Poors 500 Index
finished flat while the more technology heavy
closed with a small gain of 28 points.
On the first day of trading after the Martin Luther King
holiday weekend investors returned to a full slate of
Leading the charge is
Dow Chemical (
. The chemical company soared nearly 7% after it was announced
that Daniel Loeb and his Third Point hedge fund had taken a large
stake in the company.
The size of the stake was not disclosed, but it is said to be
large. As is typical with Loeb, the position is not meant to be
friendly to management. In a letter to investors, Loeb blasted
management for under delivering results against guidance and said
that Dow's petrochemical business ought to be spun-off.
Johnson & Johnson disappoints
At the top of the list of companies reporting results today
Johnson & Johnson (
The giant health care products company announced it had exceeded
estimates by 4 cents per share in the 4
quarter. Revenues also bested estimates, but the company said
that 2014 earnings per share would be at the low end of
That was enough to disappoint investors who sent shares down
as low as $92.62 before rebounding throughout the day. The stock
closed at $94.03 losing 1.5%.
Delta Airlines continues to fly
Delta Airlines (
continued its impressive run. The stock, already a big winner in
2013, added more than 3% after another blow-out earnings report.
The company said it made 65 cents per share before one-time
items. Analysts were expecting a profit of 63 cents per share.
The big news was on the margin front. There, Delta said that
first quarter operating margins would fall between 6 and 8
percent. Cowen & Co. had a margin forecast of 5.4%. If the
company hits the high end of its forecasted range shares could
move even higher.
Blackberry surges on Pentagon usage
the much maligned smart phone maker jumped after a report from
the Pentagon said that the Blackberry device was the
overwhelmingly most used device in the defense department. The
stock was up nearly 10% on the news. Thus far in 2014 the stock
is up some 30% now.
Apple brushes off downgrade
Societe Generale cut their rating on shares of
. Investors shrugged pushing up the technology behemoth by 1.5%
on the day. The concern at Societe is that sales of the i-Phone 5
have slowed. The company reports earnings results after the
market closes on Monday, January 27, 2014. The bet today is that
Apple is likely to produce a typical blow-out quarter against
expectations. We shall see.
Target slides on concerns about identity theft impact
If there was a dead stock in the market today,
might be the one. Shares of the giant retailer were down nearly
2% today. Over the weekend a not so flattering story in the New
York Times suggested how remarkably easy it was for hackers to
penetrate Target systems. If so, there could be some big
liability issues here that have yet to be fully priced in the
stock. In addition, the impact of the theft on customer habits
remains to be seen. Investors look to be selling today and asking