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Apple iWatch, Google Glass First Shots in New Clash of Tech Giants – Money Morning

Coming less than a year after Google unveiled its Google Glass Web-connected eyeglasses, reports that an Apple “iWatch” is in the works emphatically confirm that the battle is now joined for dominance over the next wave of tech – wearable computing.

According to the reports, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has 100 people working on an iWatch users would wear on their wrists, but that would have many of the same capabilities as an iPhone.

But wearable computers could enable new uses, particularly in the area of healthcare, while perhaps providing the spark to encourage some promising technologies that have yet to catch on, like contactless payments.

Four of the biggest names in tech – Apple, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG), Sony Corp. (NYSE ADR: SNE) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) – either are selling, have announced, or are known to be working on wearable computing ideas.

And two other big names, Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), are watching for opportunities to benefit from yet another major shift in how people interact with technology.

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Stock Market Today: Wall Street Reacts to State of the Union Speech – Money Morning

The stock market today (Wednesday) shrugged off U.S. President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech in which he urged Congress to take steps to strengthen the economy.

In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off 38 points, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 1 and the Nasdaq rose 7.

The tepid reaction to the president’s speech is not unusual. Historically, most presidential addresses move markets by less than 1% the day after a speech, with the average move just 0.15%, according LPL Financial’s Jeff Kleintop.

Whatever the Dow does Wednesday, expect the benchmark to soon hit an all-time high. The index is just 1% off the record 14,165, set in 2007. Since 2009, stocks have soared some 127%, with pullbacks within each month. So it looks like it may be March before we reach a record high, but it’s coming.

A lackluster retail sales report from the Commerce Department didn’t provide any stimulus to the stock market today. U.S. retail sales rose a paltry 0.1% in January as an increase in payroll taxes left consumers with less disposable income.

“The payroll tax increase is having some impact on spending here. It looks like maybe momentum is not necessarily carrying forward into the first quarter,” Jefferies economist Thomas Simons told Bloomberg News.

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Stock Market Today: Will the Dow Keep Going Above 14,000? – Money Morning

The stock market today (Friday) hit a high not seen in more than five years when the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossed 14,000 for the first time since October 2007.

Less than an hour into trading the Dow spiked 140 points, or 1%, to hit 14,000.97. In mid-afternoon trading, the Dow rallied further, tacking on 150 points. The move leaves the Dow around 200 points, or 2%, from its all-time high of 14,198.10.

Friday’s strong showing came on the heels of the Dow’s strongest January (up 5.8%) since 1994.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, which logged its best January since 1997, added 15 points, or just shy of 1%. The Nasdaq advanced 40.

The robust rally followed a lackluster report on the job market which gave “strength to the argument that the Fed will continue its bond buying program and keep rates low, which is also a positive for the stock market,” Tom Schrader, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus told CNN Money.

That sentiment also gave bonds and precious metals a boost. Gold prices moved up $7 to $1,670. Silver added 37 cents to $31.94

A bevy of reports helped buoy markets Friday.

A Census Bureau report showed construction rose 0.9% in December, well above forecasts. The Institute for Supply Management’s monthly manufacturing index rose to 53.1 in January, ahead of the expected 50.5 read, and the University of Michigan’s sentiment index climbed to 73.8 last month, better than the expected 71.4.

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