After its worst day of the year yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) bounced back today as investors saw buying opportunities and responded to a strong housing report and some bullish earnings reports. The blue chips finished the session up 1.1%.
Housing starts in March topped 1 million for the first time since 2008, hitting an annual rate of 1,036,000. Last month's figure beat expectations by more than 100,000, and was a strong gain from starts in February at 968,000, which was revised up from 917,000. Construction of multifamily units jumped 27%, while single-family homes dropped 4.8%. Building permits, a leading indicator for housing starts, came in below expectations, possibly indicating that last month's spike will be short-lived. The Consumer Price Index also declined slightly in March, essentially in line with expectations, indicating that despite the Fed's continued stimulus, the economy is far away from any inflation concerns.
Three Dow components reported earnings today, with two beating expectations.
Top 5 Consumer Companies To Watch For 2015: 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 Douglas A. McIntyre]
Some traditional brand powerhouses have lost ground in the Top 100 since 2009. These include BMW, FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL).
5 Best Blue Chip Stocks 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 Ted Cooper]
Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM ) returned 146% in stock price increases and dividends over the last five years. That's an average of nearly 30% per year. Clearly, investors who owned Philip Morris for any significant length of time during the last five years made out pretty well. Unfortunately, two new developments have emerged to make future returns less certain. All Philip Morris investors need to know about these two things before deciding whether to hold or sell their stock.
5 Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2014: International Business Machines Corporation(IBM)
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. Its Global Technology Services segment provides IT infrastructure and business process services, including strategic outsourcing, process, integrated technology, and maintenance services, as well as technology-based support services. The company?s Global Business Services segment offers consulting and systems integration, and application management services. Its Software segment offers middleware and operating systems software, such as WebSphere software to integrate and manage business processes; information management software for database and enterprise content management, information integration, data warehousing, business analytics and intelligence, performance management, and predictive analytics; Tivoli software for identity management, data security, storage management, and datacenter automation; Lotus software for collaboration, messaging, and so cial networking; rational software to support software development for IT and embedded systems; business intelligence software, which provides querying and forecasting tools; SPSS predictive analytics software to predict outcomes and act on that insight; and operating systems software. Its Systems and Technology segment provides computing and storage solutions, including servers, disk and tape storage systems and software, point-of-sale retail systems, and microelectronics. The company?s Global Financing segment provides lease and loan financing to end users and internal clients; commercial financing to dealers and remarketers of IT products; and remanufacturing and remarketing services. It serves financial services, public, industrial, distribution, communications, and general business sectors. The company was formerly known as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co. and changed its name to International Business Machines Corporation in 1924. IBM was founded in 1910 and is based in Armonk, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Richard Stavros]
But many of these companies eventually did go bankrupt as competitors continued to invest in their businesses and hire people to develop superior products and services. By the time consumer demand improvement was obvious and the Depression-era companies that hoarded started to spend for growth, they were miles behind their competitors and lost market share. Two companies that continued to invest in new projects and people during that era: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and GE (NYSE: GE).
- [By Anders Bylund]
Next, IBM (NYSE: IBM ) shares jumped 2.2%. Thanks to Big Blue's heavy weight in the Dow's price-weighted system, this move alone accounted for about one-third of the Dow's total points gain. The stock is clawing its way back from a disappointing earnings report earlier this month. IBM is currently hosting its annual IBM Impact conference in Vegas, and investors seem to enjoy the new products that are on tap. The DreamFace application, for example, underscores IBM's commitment to flexible analysis tools for big-data problems.
- [By Rex Crum]
IBM (IBM) �rose $1.39 a share to $186.16 and eBay (EBAY) �shares rose almost 2% to $54.37. Both companies are scheduled to report quarterly results next week.
5 Best Blue Chip Stocks For 2014: 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 Douglas A. McIntyre]
McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) public relations department has been working overtime to show that the fast food chain cares about customer health. In September it announced:
- [By Sue Chang]
McDonald�� (MCD) �is likely to post earnings of $1.24 a share in the first quarter. ��e rate the shares of McDonald�� Corp. neutral. This rating largely reflects our concerns about domestic same-store sales trends and unit-level operations, including menu complexity and what appears to be slowing average service times,��said Mark Kalinowski at Janney Capital Markets.
- [By Alex Planes]
Ronald gets a promotion
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) joined the New York Stock Exchange�on July 5, 1966. The burger chain was a recent entrant to public markets, as its IPO had taken place only 14 months earlier. In that short time, the company's hot stock had already doubled and been split once as a result. By the end of the decade, shareholders would enjoy two more splits and a special stock-issue dividend. By the time McDonald's joined the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) 19 years after graduating to the Big Board, a single share worth $32.25 in 1966 had grown into 27 shares worth $1,800.