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Hot Stock Minute: Dow’s Historic Rally; Samsung vs Apple, BlackBerry Ripens

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

The Dow is now on Cloud nine. It's sky-high after posting gains for the last nine trading days, and logging seven consecutive record closes. The index ended yesterday's session at 14,455.28 up about 5 points. The current rally is the longest one since 1996!

Hold the phone. Tonight's the night Samsung unveils its new Galaxy S4. Samsung is using the device to take aim at Apple's (AAPL) core customer base. Keep in mind, the Galaxy S3 managed to outsell the iPhone in its first full quarter on the market last year. But with all we've been hearing about the S4, what's for real and what's phony? Yahoo is reporting on its blog "The Exchange" that possible selling points include scrolling through web pages with your eyes, controls by gesture, and improved panoramic photos.

In a rare move Apple wants to grapple with Samsung over the S4. Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller said in an interview yesterday, "Our products are innovative, and customers are buying them." He added “Android more and more is being used as a giveaway phone."

Meanwhile, another Phone maker is making news: BlackBerry (BBRY). Its shares have been up in premarket trading. This is on top of an 8% rise yesterday. BlackBerry is reporting that one of its established partners has ordered 1,000,000 of its new smartphones. The line has been billed as make-or-break for struggling Blackberry. Preorders for the z-10 model are just starting here in the US. But the phone is already on sale in over 20 countries.

Boeing (BA) has ascended to another 5-year high. As of yesterday's closing bell, the stock is up 7.6% for the year. That compares to 7.7% for the Dow. Of course, Boeing's 787 Dreamliners have been grounded since January 16th. But there's word that Ryanair is about to announce an $18 billion order, one of the biggest in Boeing's history. As for the Dreamliner, the F.A.A. has just approved Boeing's plan for fixing faulty batteries.

It's nothing but blue skies for Big Blue. I.B.M. (IBM) another Dow component, now sits at an all-time high. Shares climbed .7% yesterday. They're up 11% for the year. If we take a look at a 1-year chart you can see I.B.M. hit its last high back in October after reporting earnings. I.B.M. has been pleasing investors by getting rid of underperforming units and moving into higher-margin businesses like data analysis. It's also planning $50 billion in share repurchases.

The Men's Wearhouse (MW) shareholders "are going to like the way the stock looks" at the opening bell. In fact "we guarantee it." The Men's Wearhouse is up roughly 15% in premarket trading from its close of about $29 yesterday. The company is thinking about selling its K&G unit, which is one of its weaker performers. It made the announcement after the closing bell while reporting earnings. The company lost 7-cents a share. Analysts had been predicting a loss of 5-cents.