Stocks may be back near all-time highs, but traders were barely paying attention to the market Friday afternoon.
They took a break and turned their attention to T.J. Oshie and the rest of the U.S. men's Olympic hockey team, as they faced off against Canada in the semi-finals. Though the game resulted in a 1-0 victory for the Canadians, Americans were hopeful that Team U.S.A. would defeat its biggest rival.
The teams have gone head to head 18 times during the Winter Olympics, more than any other two nations. And for the U.S. team, the history has been painful. During the last Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Sidney Crosby's overtime goal gave the Canadians a gold medal win over their North American neighbors. (Neighbours?)
The last time the Americans won the gold was in 1980, when the U.S. defeated the Soviet Union in the "Miracle on Ice" and then went on to win their final match against Finland.
While the Americans and Canadians are teammates in the NHL, it's all about national pride during the Olympics. And Friday's semi-final match was even more crucial after the U.S. women's team's heartbreaking loss to Canada on Thursday for the Olympic title.
With so much pride on the line, Wall Street traders -- who are usually talking markets all day on Twitter -- were instead chatting about the game, which began at noon on the East Coast.
Sal Arnuk, partner at Themis Trading, admitted he was watching the game and that he was also keeping an eye on tweets from Mark Cuban.
Leigh Drogen, founder of Estimize, was also focused on the match, tweeting his observations every few minutes.
Americans look nervous, holding sticks too tight, safe is death against a team this talented, gotta take more chances in Canadian end—
Leigh Drogen (@LDrogen) February 21, 2014
Americans are not gonna win this game playing defense the whole time, too little puck possession on this big ice—
Leigh Drogen (@LDrogen) February 21, 2014
Michael Antonelli, an equity sales trader at Robert W. Baird & Co., joked that his day was over and was also commenting on the game.
olympic hockey is incredible. Why can't the NHL capture this kind of excitement? (outside of playoffs I guess)—
Michael Antonelli (@BullandBaird) February 21, 2014
DailyFX currency analyst John Kicklighter quipped that the hockey game was the only reason for interest in the exchange rate between the U.S. and Canadian dollars.
This Hockey game is going to be the FX market's peak interest in USDCAD for a long time—
John Kicklighter (@JohnKicklighter) February 21, 2014
Canada scored in the second period and the U.S. failed to counter. Canada fan and hockey buff Keith McCullough, CEO of Hedgeye Risk Management, had a simple tweet about moving on to the gold medal match against Sweden for the gold medal on Sunday (McCullough had tried to buy the Phoenix -- and soon to be Arizona -- Coyotes hockey team.)
Keith McCullough (@KeithMcCullough) February 21, 2014
Cue the Apple "iCahn" jokes. Apple's stock topped the $500 mark Wednesday for the first time since January. Shares moved higher for a second day on the news that activist investor Carl Icahn has taken a "large" position in the company.
Shares crossed the psychologically important level and climbed as high as $504.25 in afternoon trading, before settling just below the mark at $498.50.
Still, the recent gains have boosted Apple's value by MOREHibah Yousuf - Aug 14, 2013 4:10 PM ET
Facebook shares rallied an impressive 30% Thursday, allowing the stock to book its best one-day gain ever. And while shares remain about 10% below the May 2012 IPO price of $38, analysts are predicting that Facebook is finally on its way to reaching, and even crossing, that threshold.
"Facebook delivered its strongest quarter yet as a public company -- results that we think could be thesis-changing for many," said Doug Anmuth, a MOREHibah Yousuf - Jul 25, 2013 4:03 PM ET
Carl Icahn has yet to sell even just one share of his stake in Netflix, and for good reason: the stock is currently trading at a three-year high and may soon be on its way to an all time-high.
While shares of the usual high-flier bounced around the breakeven line Thursday, they've been having quite the run.
Shares of Netflix (NFLX) have rallied 10% over the past five days, and have nearly MOREHibah Yousuf - Jul 18, 2013 2:41 PM ET
Investors can't seem to get enough of Elon Musk, but the Tesla CEO's announcement failed to generate much excitement on Monday.
Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12. Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2013
Musk has been talking about the hyperloop, an idea for a rapid transportation system, for about a year now, but details have thus far been limited. At the recent D11 MOREHibah Yousuf - Jul 15, 2013 2:59 PM ET
Google has some competition in the race to $1,000 a share.
Priceline (PCLN) shares rose 2% to $910.51 in afternoon trading Thursday. The stock topped $900 Wednesday for the first time since the salad days of 1999. So far this year, Priceline is up 46%.
Not to be outdone, Google (GOOG) shares gained 1.5% to trade at a fresh record high above $919.
Wall Street has been eyeing four-digits for Google since February, MOREBen Rooney - Jul 11, 2013 3:27 PM ET
If Priceline (PCLN) could name its own stock price, it would probably take this one. Shares of the online travel company hit a 52-week high Monday, jumping 3% after Priceline received an upgrade from Morgan Stanley's analysts.
Morgan Stanley's analysts think Priceline's shares, currently trading around $880, can hit $1,010 as competition in the space declines. They also expect that Priceline has increased its market share of European travel.
Should Priceline's shares follow Morgan Stanley's predictions, shares MOREMaureen Farrell - Jul 8, 2013 1:55 PM ET
Tesla's stock soared into record territory Monday after the electric car maker received another upgrade from Wall Street analysts.
Tesla (TSLA) shares ended the day at a record $117.18, gaining more than 9%.
The rally came after analysts at Jefferies raised their price target to $130, saying the company is likely to report stronger-than-expected sales of the new Model S this year.
Tesla's stock price has exploded. It's gained a whopping 240% in the past MOREBen Rooney - Jul 1, 2013 4:45 PM ET
Shares of IBM fell sharply Friday, part of the fallout from Accenture's weak outlook.
Both companies are heavily invested in data analysis so any sign of weakness from either one raises worries about a broader slowdown in the sector.
Accenture cut its earnings outlook for the year and trimmed its revenue forecast for the fourth quarter.
A slew of analysts were quick to downgrade Accenture.
That doesn't bode well for Accenture's rivals, including IBM MORECatherine Tymkiw - Jun 28, 2013 11:31 AM ET
Carnival Corp. has had its share of bad press, but investors were willing to cut the cruise ship operator some slack Tuesday.
Shares of Carnival (CCL) rose 4% after the company reported quarterly results and announced a management shake-up.
While earnings were better than expected in the second quarter, Carnival said advance bookings for the rest of the year are currently below last year, despite discounted ticket prices.
Carnival also said it will MOREBen Rooney - Jun 25, 2013 2:20 PM ET
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