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The DJIA today shed 10 points, while the Nasdaq gained 20 points. Why were markets mixed today? Oil prices slumped, dragging down the energy sector, while the Nasdaq saw a nice bump from a major tech deal.
Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) stock gained 1.26% today. Money Morning Capital Wave Strategist Shah Gilani joined FOX Business' "Varney & Co." yesterday to discuss when the tech giant could achieve a $1 trillion market cap…
Dow: 18,214.42, -10.15, -0.06%
S&P 500: 2,110.75, -3.11, -0.15%
Nasdaq: 4,987.89, +20.75, +0.42%
What Moved the DJIA Today: Rising U.S. oil inventories sent WTI crude prices down more than 4.5% on the day, hammering energy stocks. WTI settled at $48.68 per barrel. Brent crude, priced in London, fell 2.1% to hit $60.28 per barrel.
Last week 313,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits. The data was higher than consensus expectations of 290,000 filings.
Orders for durable U.S. goods increased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 2.8% in January. The number outpaced consensus expectations for a 0.5% gain. Meanwhile, consumer prices in January fell on an annual basis for the first time since 2009. Falling gasoline prices are to blame for the decline in U.S. inflation.
Now, check out the other top market stories – plus get our new profit tip for investors:
- Net Neutrality Ruling: The Federal Communications Commission voted in favor of controversial Net neutrality regulations today. Under the plan, regulators will prohibit Internet service providers like Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) from "discriminating" against a particular online service or website. Opponents have called the plan a "government takeover of the Internet" that will stifle innovation and slow down Internet speeds.
- Tech Boom: Shares of Avago Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AVGO) soared more than 14% on news the company will purchase networking firm Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) for $8 per share. Shares of Emulex jumped more than 24%, while Avago was the top performer on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100. Shares of Avago also climbed after the company reported better than expected quarterly earnings
- Caffeine High: Shares of Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) are on fire. SBUX stock is on track to post its 10th record closing of the month. Shares were up today after a Jefferies analyst Andy Barish raised his price target from $97 to $108. The analyst cited increased store traffic, falling gasoline prices, and positive comments from its CFO for the bullish prediction.
- The Death of Retail: Shares of Sears Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) dipped more than 5% today. The company reported a narrower quarterly loss than Wall Street expected. Still, the struggling retailer recorded its fourth-straight annual decline of revenue and profits. Sears reported a per-share loss of $0.34, beating consensus expectations of a $1.89 loss. The company hopes to convert 300 stores into a real-estate investment trust by June to generate more than $2 billion in proceeds. But today's sell-off proves investors aren't highly optimistic about the plan.
- An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) jumped 1.26%. Today, the company sent invitations to an event on March 9. This is one month before the company is supposed to launch the Apple Watch. The news comes after Reuters reported that China has blocked Apple products from its approved government purchase list due to concerns over espionage from foreign manufacturers. Other companies affected by the ban include Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), and Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS).
Money Morning Tip of the Day: Turn market volatility to your advantage and earn more money on your investments by using a buying strategy called split entries.
Today's tip comes from Money Morning Tech Expert Michael A. Robinson:
The stock market has been volatile over the last several months. And we'll be dealing with this choppiness for the foreseeable future.
But you can turn choppy markets into huge profits by using a tool called "split entries."
Here's how it works. Instead of buying your standard amount of a stock, you divide your entries into at least two tranches.
For example, say you want to invest in a company called Ultimate Tech Inc. at $50 a share. Start by investing half of your standard stock purchase at the current market price. In this case, 100 shares would cost you $5,000, but you cut that in half, starting with $2,500.
As soon as that market order fills, you put in what's known as a "lowball limit order." That's an order to purchase shares when they fall to a specified price.
I usually set mine at a 20% discount from my original entry price, but use your best judgment in each individual case.
In this case, you'd buy a second round of Ultimate Tech at $40 a share. When the stock falls to that price, your order automatically fills and you now have an average cost of $45, a 10% discount from your original order.
Now let's say Ultimate rallies all the way to $60. Based on your average price of $45, you have cumulative gains of 25%. Your original order has gains of 16.6%.
But your second half has earned twice as much – 33.3%.
This is a great way to bake extra profits into your portfolio when markets are volatile.