Markets Dip as Bitcoin Rises; Analysts Consider Apple's iPhone Dependency--ICYMI

The Dow Industrial Average closed down Thursday while the S&P and Nasdaq also dipped, despite being in the green for much of the day. Bitcoin rose about 6% Thursday to $11,629 at market close in New York, but was still down about 33% over the last month.

Lots of talk on Apple (AAPL) , which closed slightly higher despite concerns among Wall Street analysts wondering about the company's dependence on the iPhone. But as some pondered what Apple might do with a tax windfall--something drastic, maybe, to ease its own iPhone addiction--I'd like to point out that history says the company will likely do something much more mundane with cash.

Apple's largest acquisition to date was its 2015 acquisition of Beats by Dre for $3.1 billion and then its recent, $400 million acquisition of Shazam. Everything else has been small acquire-hires-Buddybuild and Lattice Data among others. Much of the rest of its spending goes to research and development to create and hone products.

As for Apple's tax savings, which are really just that -- savings -- as Apple could have accessed much of the cash through debt issuances anyway, the majority of it is likely to go toward internal investment, small acquisitions and buy-backs. Value-creating moves, if you ask me, but not the blockbuster deal some on Wall Street suggest. Though, of course, you've got to think that anything is possible in the land-grab for content in 2018.

Speaking of the content land grab, Amazon (AMZN)  appeared in rumors of the auction of movie house Lions Gate (LGF) . Meanwhile, there's buzz around privately held MGM while CBS Corp. (CBS) and Viacom (VIAB)  also may consider a merge to gain scale, and potentially acquire others. The list of targets is dwindling after years of consolidation, however, points out reporter Chris Nolter, so prices may go up.

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Photo of the day: The birthplace of La Quinta Inns

The 1968 World's Fair, the HemisFair (model pictured above), held in San Antonio saw revolutionary innovations from Ford (F) , General Motors (GM) , IBM (IBM) and a host of other top companies of today. But the convention, typically overlooked in the grand scheme of history because it was held just days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., was also the birthplace of one of America's most popular hotel chains, La Quinta Inns (LQ) . La Quinta, which means "the country place" in Spanish, was founded by brothers Sam and Phil Barshop across from the fairgrounds and continued to expand the chain from there. On Thursday, La Quinta, now headquartered in Irving, Texas, was acquired by New Jersey-based hotel company Wyndham Worldwide (WYN) for $1.95 billion. The La Quinta brand will join Wyndham's stable of more than a dozen brands including Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8 and Howard Johnson. Read More

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Jim Cramer and the AAP team hold a position in Apple for their Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.

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