Money Minute: Will Luck Stop Stocks' Slide? Ford to Hire 5,000 Workers


Maybe Friday the 13th will prove to be good luck for investors, who are all of the sudden worried that the rally has run its course.

Historically, Friday the 13th hasn't been so scary. In fact, the S&P 500 rises slightly more often on Fridays the 13th than it does on any other random day.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 104 points Thursday, the second straight triple-digit loss. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) lost 20 and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) dropped 57 points.

Ford hiring 5000, launching 16 new models in 2014
Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesFord workers at the company's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich.

Ford (F) says next year will be the biggest for vehicle launches in the history of the company. As a result, Ford plans to hire 5,000 workers in the U.S., mostly in engineering and product development. Among the new offerings in 2014, redesigns of the Mustang and the F-150 pick-up. In all, it plans to roll out 23 new or updated vehicles next year.

The cold snap that has many of us shivering on the way to work this morning is sending natural gas prices sharply higher. They're at the highest level in more than two years, as demand soared. Meanwhile, the Energy Department reports that natural gas supplies fell last week, and that was before the cold weather blanketed many areas.

The deep freeze is also having an effect on California's citrus crop. State officials say it will take three to four weeks before they can put a dollar value on the crop damage. The good news: forecasters say more typical California weather should return next week.

OK, enough about the cold weather. It's Hobbit time, as the second installment in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy debuts in theaters today. It's expected to draw huge crowds, likely to be one of the biggest box office hits of the year. Among the potential winners on Wall Street are Time Warner (TWX) and its Warner Bros. studio, IMAX (IMAX) and Dolby Laboratories (DLB), and movie theater chains such as Cinemark Holding (CNK) and Regal Entertainment Group (RGC).

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.