Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Stocks fell for the third straight day today, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) had its worst session in nearly a month as concerns mounted about the Federal Reserve stimulus taper and a disappointing holiday season. The blue chips fell 94 points, or 0.6%, ending the day at 15,915.
With the Fed set to hold its next Open Market Committee meeting in two weeks to determine the future of its $85 billion bond-buying program, investors once again became nervous about the coming taper. Recent jobs numbers have been strong, and Friday's November jobs report should go a long way to determining monetary policy. Another month of strong employment growth could mean the Fed begins cutting the stimulus sooner than expected. Stocks have gained more than 25% this year in large part because of the Fed's bond-buying program, which have made bond yields artificially low, making stocks look better by comparison. Tomorrow's jobs report from ADP will be the first hint at how many new jobs were created in November.
Top 10 Casino Companies To Watch For 2015: McDonald's Corporation(MCD)
McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Andrew Marder]
Unlike J. Crew and Tory Burch, the reason I want in on Five Guys is for the beautiful simplicity of the business. Murrell now oversees a business that should generate over $1 billion in revenue in 2013. While the company is still far short of McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) $6.6 billion, Five Guys seems to be managing a feat that McDonald's has failed at over the last few quarters: growth.
- [By David Smith]
For comparison's sake
Compare those tax payments and percentages with those of Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) , which, from a market capitalization perspective, is larger than ExxonMobil. The California technology superstar paid income taxes of about $4 billion in 2011, an effective rate of just 24.6%. And McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) , which checked in at 25th place on the list of "elite" taxpayers, forked over $2.1 billion in taxes. Its effective rate: 31.3%.
- [By Jeremy Bowman]
Four Dow components reported earnings today, including�McDonald's� (NYSE: MCD ) , which fell 0.4% after a lackluster quarter. The Golden Arches' domestic problems continued as same-store sales fell 1.7% in the U.S, though they were up globally by 0.5%. Total revenue improved 1%, or 3% when adjusting for currency fluctuations, to $6.7 billion, short of estimates at $6.73 billion, while EPS of $1.21 missed expectations of $1.24 per-share profit, though the figure would have been $1.24 after adjusting for currency changes. While the results weren't terrible, the quarter painted a portrait of a company struggling to maintain its fast-food leadership.
- [By Marc Bastow]
The qualifications for being a purple chip are basically a screen for stability and performance: smooth earnings profiles, including seven years of consecutive EPS growth, and market caps north of $1 billion. Not surprisingly, you’ll find Procter & Gamble (PG), McDonald’s (MCD) and IBM (IBM) on Macke’s list of what I’d call the “usual suspects.”
Best Blue Chip Companies To Own For 2014: Chevron Corporation(CVX)
Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment involves in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas; processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas; transportation of crude oil through pipelines; and transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as holds interest in a gas-to-liquids project. The Downstream segment engages in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products; marketing of crude oil and refined products primarily under the Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brand names; transportation of crude oil and refined products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car; and manufacture and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives. It a lso produces and markets coal and molybdenum; and holds interests in 13 power assets with a total operating capacity of approximately 3,100 megawatts, as well as involves in cash management and debt financing activities, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, and alternative fuels and technology business. Chevron Corporation has a joint venture agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation. The company was formerly known as ChevronTexaco Corp. and changed its name to Chevron Corporation in May 2005. Chevron Corporation was founded in 1879 and is based in San Ramon, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Matt Thalman]
A few stocks are being hurt by lower commodity prices. Both of the major oil and gas components of the Dow are also falling today. Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) is down 2.4%, while ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) has lost 2.2%. The price of a barrel of light crude oil has fallen 3.6% today, and unleaded gasoline per gallon is down 1.67%. The feared slowdown in China is likely the reason the price of oil is dropping. However, as we have seen in the past, the price of oil falls only briefly before moving higher again. Investors in Chevron or Exxon should ride out this temporary downturn and wait for higher prices at the pump.
- [By Aaron Levitt]
Three more rigs will delivered this year and next. Those rigs in operation are contracted out to energy giants Chevron (CVX), Total (TOT) and Petrobras (PBR). And having three of the largest oil majors sending you checks every day has worked in PACD�� favor.
Best Blue Chip Companies To Own For 2014: Visa Inc.(V)
Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company owns and operates VisaNet, a global processing platform that provides transaction processing services. It also offers a range of payments platforms, which enable credit, charge, deferred debit, debit, and prepaid payments, as well as cash access for consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company provides its payment platforms under the Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, and Interlink brand names. In addition, it offers value-added services, including risk management, issuer processing, loyalty, dispute management, value-added information, and CyberSource-branded services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Financial stocks are taking the brunt of the damage this morning. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) has dropped 1.1% to $129.83 at 9:38 a.m., making it the biggest loser among sector ETFs. Visa (V) and American Express (AXP) have dropped 1.8% and 1.7%, to lead the Dow lower.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Two credit-card companies, two different responses to their earnings. While disappointed investors have sold off shares of Visa (V), MasterCard (MA) is relatively unchanged.
- [By Mark Morelli]
How will the potential disruption impact business and affect investors? Should the executives at ATM manufacturers such as Diebold (NYSE: DBD ) �be worried? Credit�and debit card processors like MasterCard (NYSE: MA ) and Visa (NYSE: V ) �are already benefiting from the trend to a cashless society. Could things get even better?
Best Blue Chip Companies To Own For 2014: Colgate-Palmolive Company(CL)
Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It offers oral care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouth rinses, as well as dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; personal care products, such as liquid hand soap, shower gels, bar soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, and conditioners; and home care products comprising laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches, dishwashing liquids, and oil soaps. The company offers its oral, personal, and home care products under the Colgate Total, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate 360 Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Demitrios Kalogeropoulos]
Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL )
Colgate's shares are trading well below the $62 high they hit just last month. The consumer goods company is heavily levered to international sales, with more than 80% of its business coming from outside the U.S. and more than half coming from emerging markets.
- [By Dan Burrows]
Rival Colgate-Palmolive (CL) has different concerns, namely sluggishness in emerging markets where it enjoys commanding market share and derives more than half its revenue.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Procter & Gamble have gained 0.1% to $81.44 at 2:06 p.m. today, while Unilever (UL) has risen 0.6% to $43.96, Colgate-Palmolive (CL) is little changed at $65.65 and Kimberly-Clark (KMB) has advanced 0.5% to $111.31.
Best Blue Chip Companies To Own For 2014: Apple Inc.(AAPL)
Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. In addition, it sells third-party Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores; and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. The company sells its products to consumer, small and mid-sized business, education, enterprise, government, and creative markets. As of September 25, 2010, it had 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the United States and 84 stores internationally. The company, formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Tim Brugger]
It's certainly been a hectic day for BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY ) . The rumor mill is running at full speed, BlackBerry's share price took a hit at the open after an analyst predicted poor smartphone sales results, and there's even talk that BlackBerry will sell all or part of itself -- again. As if BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins doesn't have enough on his plate, much of which he brought on himself by saying things like Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iPhone is out of date and that tablets will become obsolete in five years, among other head-scratchers. Heins' comments aside, the shame is that the nearly 15% stock appreciation BlackBerry shareholders have enjoyed the past month or so just came to a screeching halt.
- [By Brian Pacampara]
Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, consumer electronic device giant Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) has earned a respected four-star ranking.
- [By Jason Moser and Eric Bleeker, CFA]
After all, while companies such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) -- in spite of its recent share-price struggles -- have been winners, there have also been a host of losing investments. Over a five-year time frame, an investor who'd bet equally between�BlackBerry� (NASDAQ: BBRY ) and Apple would still be beating the Nasdaq over the same time period, but not by a tremendous sum.�
Best Blue Chip Companies To Own For 2014: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)
Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Aaron Smith]
The stock price for Reynolds American (RAI), parent company of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., fell about 3%. Other Big Tobacco stocks followed suit, with shares of Altria Group (MO) slipping about 2%. Philip Morris (PM) falling about 1% and Lorillard (LO) dropping nearly 3%.
- [By Dan Dzombak]
However, the tobacco industry has been a great hunting ground for investors. While no tobacco companies pay as high a dividend as Vector Group, long-term investors would do well to look at Altria in the U.S. or Phillip Morris International (NYSE: PM ) . Both were part of the original Phillip Morris conglomerate that split up around 2008 by spinning off Kraft and Phillip Morris International.� Both businesses are leaders in their respective markets -- Altria in the U.S. and Phillip Morris the world, excluding China and the U.S -- and have exceptionally high-returning businesses. This is in part due to both having one of the top brands in the world with Marlboro. For dividend investors, the key part is that both have long-term histories of steadily increasing their dividends. If I had to choose just one, while Altria has a higher yield than Phillip Morris (4.9% vs. 3.9%), I would go with Phillip Morris. The company has better growth prospects and a lower payout ratio, and the business is far more diversified in terms of legal risk, whereas Altria could be hurt by any laws or rulings that go against tobacco companies in the U.S.
- [By Lawrence Meyers]
That means you should go with either Altria Group (MO) or Philip Morris International (PM). And if you’re only interested in buying one, I think I�� select MO stock. It pays a slightly better divided (5.2% vs. 4.7%).