The 5 Stocks Everyone's Talking About Today


The market was basically flat today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) rose 0.09% while the S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) and the Nasdaq (INDEX: ^IXIC) fell 0.13% and 0.03%, respectively. No Dow component was up or down as much as 2%. With that as context, let's look at the stocks everybody was talking about.

Bellwether shipper FedEx reported its first-quarter earnings this morning, but it was the company's outlook that had folks talking -- and shares down 3%. On concerns over the global economy, FedEx lowered its fiscal 2013 earnings outlook to between $6.20 and $6.60 a share, from $6.90 to $7.40. The company also lowered its estimate for 2013 U.S. GDP growth from 2.4% to 1.9% and warned about weakness in Chinese exports. Europe continues to be a concern as well. That said, take any economic prognostications with a grain of salt.

In your mandatory daily Apple update, shares ended the day above $700 for the first time, after hitting the mark for the first time in intraday trading yesterday. Although FedEx doesn't think the iPhone 5 launch will be enough to save global shipping, Apple's trying its darnedest!

Microsoft (NAS: MSFT) made the news for two reasons: a hacker-friendly hole in its Internet Explorer browser, and a 15% increase in its dividend -- enough to move the quarterly payout from $0.20 to $0.23. Its dividend yield will now be around 3%. (For more on Microsoft, check out our premium Microsoft report).

Meanwhile, Ford (NYS: F) trotted out the 2013 iteration of its hottest seller, the midsize Ford Fusion. The hybrid version gets an impressive 47 mpg in the city and highway. Watch your backs, Camry and Accord. And if you're wondering, CEO Alan Mulally has continued to be coy about any retirement plans.

On Wall Street, longtime Goldman Sachs CFO David Viniar will retire January. He'll be succeeded by Harvey M. Schwartz, who is currently co-head of the securities division.

FedEx and Apple were the biggest headline makers today, but if you're looking for solid investing ideas beyond the daily news, check out our free report: "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need." It features three of the most unassailable businesses in America. Find out their names now.

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