What Happened in the Stock Market Today

By Demitrios Kalogeropoulos Markets Fool.com

Stocks didn't drift far from breakeven on Monday, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average(DJINDICES: ^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) indexes logging changes of less than a quarter percent.

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Today's stock market

Index

Percentage Change

Point Change

Dow

(0.10%)

(21.50)

S&P 500

0.04%

0.87

Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Financial stocks attracted heavy trading and essentially mirrored the broader market. The popular Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLF) edged up by 0.24%. Gold-based exchange-traded funds, meanwhile, recovered some of their recent losses; theDirexion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEMKT: NUGT)added 4%.

Image source: Getty Images.

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As for individual stocks, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and Del Taco (NASDAQ: TACO) were two of the biggest individual movers.

Intel bets big on autonomous cars

Intel was the Dow's biggest loser following news that the tech giant will be shelling out $15.3 billion to purchase Mobileye, the autonomous driving technology specialist. The two struck an all-cash deal for $63.54 per share, which equates to a 34% premium over the stock's last closing price. For that sum, Intel gets its hands on a fast-growing company -- sales jumped 48% year over year in 2016 -- at the center of the nascent autonomous vehicle sector. But it had to pay nearly 43 times sales for the asset, though.

Still, Intel executives were enthusiastic about the purchase. "This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers," Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a press release. "Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers," he continued.

Mobileye also played up the likely synergies between the two companies. "By pooling together our infrastructure and resources," CEO Ziv Aviram said, "we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how."

By Intel's estimate, the market opportunity around vehicle systems and data support could soar to as high as $70 billion by 2030. The company could afford to be off the mark on that long-term target, but it will still need to see many years of market-thumping growth ahead for this purchase to pay off.

Del Taco forecasts a slowdown in 2017

Del Taco shares fell almost 4.5% following the release of the restaurant chain's fourth-quarter earnings report. Sales grew at a 5.5% pace to mark a significant slowdown from the prior quarter's 6.7% increase.

Image source: Getty Images.

Still, the full-year results were better than management had forecast. CEO Paul Murphy and his team said in October that same-store sales gains would top out 4.5% for the full year, but last quarter's result pushed the actual figure up to 4.8%. "Our solid fourth quarter results capped another successful year at Del Taco as we exceeded our annual guidance for comparable restaurant sales, total revenue, restaurant contribution margin and adjusted EBITDA, and delivered on our expectations for diluted earnings per share," Murphy said in a press release.

Executives' plan for the year ahead includes stepping up brand awareness and increasing margins through new, premium menu options. However, market-beating sales growth will be harder to come by in what's expected to be its fifth straight year of comps gains. The expansion pace should be between 2% and 4%, they predicted, which would mark an almost 2-percentage-point deceleration at the midpoint of guidance. The company still expects to hit management's long-term goal of $1.5 million average store sales volume by the end of next year.

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.