What happened to the market as a whole today hardly mattered. The DJIA was up only 0.07% to 13,335. But, almost all of the news was focused on a handful of stocks.
The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5 was introduced. The press had done a good job describing the product features over the last few days. The smartphone has a bigger screen. More important, the new product works on superfast 4G networks, in the U.S. and some other regions. The “sell the news” fear about Apple’s shares did not materialize. The stock closed up 1.3% to $669.79. The volume was not even impressive. Nearly 25 million shares changed hands compared to a 90 day average of 13.5 million.
The most surprising stock run-up of the say belongs to Office Depot (NYSE: ODP). The company has been out of favor for years as it competes on razon thin margins with Staples (NASDAQ: SPLS), Office Max (NYSE: OMX), Costco (NASDAQ: COST), and the Sam’s Club division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) Office Depot shares rose 20% to $2.29. Traders were at a loss to find a reason for the improvement.
Mark Zuckerberg’s comments about the future of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) impressed investors. Shares rose 7.7% today to $20.96. Many analysts were quick to point out that shares are still down 45% from the IPO price. But, the faithful can believe that Zuckerberg has proven modestly successful as he makes the case for the future of the social network he created.
One unexpected move today was AMD (NYSE: AMD). Some analysts have made positive comments about the company recently. AMD remains a distant second to Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) in the computer and server chip market. PC sales have been weak worldwide, and Intel recently lowered guidance. Fitch made positive comments about the semi sector, but AMD is so badly damaged that it is surprising its shares would react.
Douglas A. McIntyre