Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
Today, October 17, was the date Wall Street, Washington, and the world had anxiously awaited for weeks. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had stated publicly that the country's borrowing limit would be met by today, forcing the U.S. to fund itself on sparse reserves and incoming tax revenue. Thankfully, a deal to raise our borrowing limit and reopen the government was reached at the eleventh hour. While most stocks ended in the black on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) was little changed, falling 2 points, or less than 0.1%, to end at 15,371.
Dow component Home Depot (NYSE: HD ) added 1.1% after a $250 million lawsuit against the home-improvement store and two other retailers was dropped yesterday. The suit alleged that the trio of retailers had been using the privately owned Alexsam's patented techniques for activating stored value cards like gift cards and phone cards. But when Alexsam sought a change in legal representation and asked a federal judge to delay a scheduled October 22 trial, the judge denied the request and the charges were dropped.
Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD ) rallied 4%, posting big gains that long-term investors are starting to get used to. Having nearly quadrupled in price this year alone, Rite Aid stock is undeniably hot, as cost-cutting strategies are starting to pay off in a big way. As colleague Dan Moskowitz noted, the drugstore has both trimmed its store count and improved same-store sales over the past year, helping the company swing to a profit.
Lastly, big-box electronics retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) was a big gainer today, jumping 2.9% and hitting a multiyear high on an analyst upgrade. Oppenheimer's Brian Nagel touted the company's gusto as it shuts down underperforming stores and implements its price-matching policy. Though analysts don't always have salient points, I tend to agree that price matching is critical to Best Buy's success in the long term, as brick-and-mortar stores try to fight back against the giants of e-commerce.
3 companies ready to rule retail
The retail space is in the midst of the biggest paradigm shift since mail order took off at the turn of the last century. Only those most forward-looking and capable companies will survive, and they'll handsomely reward those investors who understand the landscape. You can read about the 3 Companies Ready to Rule Retail in The Motley Fool's special report. Uncovering these top picks is free today; just click here to read more.