Closing Bell: Stocks End Rocky Month of Trading Mixed

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Getty ImagesA key measure of Chicago-area manufacturing activity had its biggest monthly drop since 2008, sinking to 51.6 from a 14-month high of 58.7 in May.
U.S. markets ended Friday trading with a thud, as stocks gyrated from win to loss and back again. Two economic reports -- one upbeat, the other decidedly not -- helped drive the indecision on what was the last trading day in June and the second quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 41 points to 14,983, ending a three-day rally and six months of consecutive monthly gains. The Standard & Poor's 500 (^GSPC) fell 1.4 points to 1,611 while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) added 13 to end at 3,413.

Rising household wealth was credited for an uptick in the latest measure of consumer confidence. The University of Michigan said its final reading of consumer sentiment in June was 84.1, an improvement from a preliminary reading earlier in the month, and just slightly below May's final reading of 84.5 -- the highest since July 2007.

A key measure of Chicago-area manufacturing activity had its biggest monthly drop since 2008, sinking to 51.6 from a 14-month high of 58.7 in May. The reading was well below the level of 55 that economists polled by FactSet were expecting.

Among stocks making big moves Friday:
  • Shares of Nike (NKE) ended the day higher after initially sinking in morning trading, after the athletic apparel maker slightly lowered its 2014 earnings forecast and gave a lackluster first-quarter outlook. Shares ended Friday up 1.5 points to $63.79.
  • BlackBerry (BBRY) plunged 4 points, or 28 percent, to $10.46 after the company posted a surprise loss in the first quarter and warned of future losses despite releasing its make-or-break smartphones this year. The company also discontinued making new versions of its slow-selling tablet device, the Playbook.
  • Accenture (ACN) fell $8.33, 10.4 or percent, to $71.89. The consulting firm cut its revenue and profit outlook for its fiscal year ending in August. Revenue was hurt by lower demand in Europe as well as its communications, media and technology division.
  • Sears Holdings (SHLD) became the latest company to announce it is cutting ties with Paul Deen, following revelations that the celebrity cook used racial slurs in the past. The company, which operates Sears and Kmart stores and websites, said Friday that it will phase out all products tied to Deen's brand after "careful consideration of all available information." In doing so, Sears joins Walmart Stores (WMT), Target (TGT) and Home Depot (HD). Sears fell 1.4 percent to $42.16.
  • In IPO news, shares of Noodles & Co. (NDLS) soared in their first day of trading on the Nasdaq. The casual restaurant chain's stock more than doubled in price Friday to $36.74. That puts Noodles & Co. on track to post the biggest first-day trading gain since Splunk Inc.'s (SPLK) debut in April 2012.

Compiled from staff and wire reports.

Invest Like a Cicada: 5 Stocks to Buy and Hold Until 2030
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Closing Bell: Stocks End Rocky Month of Trading Mixed

Ford has been making cars through a fair number of cicada emergence cycles, and that's not going to change. Cars will naturally look materially different in 17 years; by then, it wouldn't be a shock to see self-driving cars in widespread use. Ford should continue to have a major role in the industry.
Naturally, there may be trends moving away from automobiles in general. The urbanization trend -- which features people flocking back to metropolitan areas where mass transit makes car ownership less important -- will likely continue. U.S. automakers may also continue to lose market share to overseas rivals.

However, it's hard to bet against Ford. Remember, Ford was the only major U.S. automaker to avoid the government's bailout in 2009, proving its mettle during tough times.

This pick will be controversial given the way that Apple's stock has been beaten down since peaking late last year. But the consumer tech giant is a survivor.

Since the last Brood II invasion we saw the iPod in 2001, the iPhone in 2007, and the iPad in 2010. Yes, Steve Jobs is gone, but denying Apple its historical bent to raise the bar in consumer electronics would be a costly mistake. Apple will find a way to innovate its way to growth and margin expansion.

The world's largest retailer has plenty of detractors. Critics argue that Walmart destroys mom-and-pop businesses and treats its employees unfairly. However, 60 percent of the people in this country will visit a Walmart this month. Think about that. Walmart rang up more than $469 billion in sales last year. Think about that, too.

Walmart's size endows it with pricing advantages that it passes on to its customers, giving the discount department store chain and edge that can't be matched. The future may find online retail and digital delivery eating into its share of some product categories. But at the end of the day, you don't bet against Walmart's ability to provide goods at prices that free shoppers to spend more on other things.

Despite remarkable changes in the world, some things have stayed constant from one cicada infestation to the next. Soap is still soap. Toilet paper is still toilet paper. Toothpaste is still toothpaste. And that probably won't change between now and 2030.

Procter & Gamble is home to large pantry of household brands that consumer know all too well. From Crest toothpaste to Bounty paper towels, it's hard to escape Procter & Gamble's reach. Some of its billion-dollar brands -- in other words, products that generate at least a billion dollars in annual sales -- include Pampers baby diapers, Duracell batteries, and Charmin toilet paper.

Its portfolio of products is so diversified that Procter & Gamble can weather the rare innovations that make a particular category obsolete. Along the way, patient investors get rewarded. Procter & Gamble has increased its dividend in each of the past 57 years.

The House of Mouse has been the undisputed champ of family entertainment for decades, but it's not something that Disney has taken for granted. Disney bought Capital Cities/ABC in 1995, a year before the last periodical cicada wave. It was a major purchase, and perhaps more for landing ESPN than ABC.

However, since the last Brood II emergence, the media giant has snapped up Pixar, Marvel, and most recently Lucasfilm to beef up its library of magnetic characters that it can build on through its cable properties, theme parks, and merchandising initiatives.

The way children consume media has evolved dramatically over the years, but digital media has presented new ways for Disney to cash in on the incessant appetite for family-friendly entertainment.

Besides, if there's a movie to be made that transforms cicadas into endearing insects in an animated theatrical release, it would be probably be Disney's handiwork.
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