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Today our Tech Specialist Michael A. Robinson joined FOX Business' "Varney & Co." to discuss how Apple TV, and other new revenue streams, will impact Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) stock in the coming years…
Dow: 17,849.09, -128.34, -0.71%
S&P 500: 2,074.20, -6.99, -0.34%
Nasdaq: 4,937.44, +7.93, +0.16%
Nine of the 10 industry sectors of the S&P 500 Index dropped, led by a 1% decline in raw-material stocks. Shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) were the biggest drag on the S&P 500 today, falling roughly 1.3%.
What Moved the Stock Market Today: Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen will announce the central bank's stance on monetary policy tomorrow. A hike likely isn't going to happen. But the conference will probably center on one word: "patient." That's the key word from past Fed updates to describe the central bank's approach to hiking interest rates. Removing the word "patient" from its policy language will be the first step in raising rates. Keeping the word would signal that the bank will keep delaying a rate hike.
Oil prices were again in focus, with domestic prices hitting their lowest level since March 2009. WTI crude, marked in New York City, fell 1.6% to settle near $43 per barrel. Brent crude oil, priced in London, slipped 0.5% to $53.65 per barrel.
Now, check out the other top market stories – plus get our new profit tip for investors:
- Housing Humbled: The February housing starts report was a brutal indicator that harsh winter weather is weighing down the U.S. economy. The Commerce Department announced today that housing starts plunged 17% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 897,000 in February. Shares of housing development companies like Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL), M/I Homes Inc. (NYSE: MHO), and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: HOV) were all down on the day.
- Index Boom: Shares of domestic airline giant American Airlines Group Inc. (Nasdaq: AAL) jumped nearly 7% today on news the company will be joining the S&P 500. American Airlines will take the place of Botox manufacturer Allergan Inc. (NYSE: AGN), which is in the process of being acquired by pharmaceutical giant Actavis Plc (NYSE: ACT). The addition will take place after the close of trading on March 20.
- Over a Cup: Shares of Starbucks Corp. (Nasdaq: SBUX) were up marginally this afternoon. The company's CEO Howard Schultz made headlines today when he said the firm has launched an initiative to encourage its baristas and customers to have candid discussions about racial issues in America. The firm will allow workers at 12,000 Starbucks locations an option to write the words "Race Together" on their customers' cups and to start conversations about race relations.
- Poison Pill: Shares of shopping-mall owner Macerich Co. (NYSE: MAC) slipped nearly 3.5% this afternoon on news that the company's board has rejected a $14.39 billion unsolicited bid from Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG). Analysts saw the move as a surprise; however, Macerich executives believe that the bid undervalues the firm. Rather than accept the bid, the firm has adopted a shareholders rights plan (aka a "Poison Pill), and altered its board structure to stave off a hostile takeover.
- An Apple a Day: Shares of Apple stock were up 1.7% on news that the tech giant is poised to discuss its online television service Apple TV with programmers. News is also emerging that Apple could be developing its own modem hardware in the near future. According to Will Strauss, a well-respected wire-tech analyst, the firm has been making a number of human resources moves to add individuals with knowledge of wireless hardware.
Money Morning Tip of the Day: Market volatility will continue in coming months, but you can survive and even profit from wild market swings with these tools…
Today's tip comes from Money Morning Tech Expert Michael A. Robinson:
Markets are extremely volatile right now. Last week the Dow Jones saw triple-digit gains or losses on four of five trading days.
This volatility will continue as investors grapple with economic data and try to gauge when the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates.
You can survive and even profit from market volatility using these five tools…
Market Volatility Tool No. 1: Make Lowball Offers: With stocks, it's easy to make lowball orders. These are called "limit" orders, meaning you only buy when the stock hits your chosen personal target price. Suppose a stock you want to buy and hold for the long haul had a recent high of $100 and then dropped to $75. A lowball limit order of, say, $60 (a 20% discount) will protect your risk of losses and greatly boost your long-term gains.
Market Volatility Tool No. 2: Buy "Test Shares": Buying a few test shares is a great way to establish a position. As the term implies, you would buy only about 5% to 10% of your usual position on a stock, using it as your initial entry point. That way if it tanks, you won't get killed. You've only devoted a small amount of your risk capital to this investment.
Market Volatility Tool No. 3: Limit Your Exposure: A good way to stay in the market and limit your risk of loss is simply to make smaller entries. You can even combine the test-share and exposure-limit strategies. Start by purchasing your test-share block, re-evaluate both the stock and the market, and then purchase the remaining shares required to establish the smaller than usual "exposure limit" position.
To get the last two tools and learn more about turning choppy markets to your advantage, go here: How to Profit from Market Volatility…