Dow Rallies 128 Points to Record Highs, Melco Crown Surges

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.

Driven higher by excitement about Microsoft's search for a new CEO and buzz about Twitter's impending IPO, stocks were firmly in rally mode Wednesday. Ford CEO Alan Mulally as well as current Microsoft COO Kevin Turner both made the shortlist of prospects the Seattle-based tech giant is considering for its top position. Tomorrow, GDP figures and jobless claims data should provide more relevant catalysts for the broader market. Today, however, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) tacked on 128 points, or 0.8%, to end at an all-time record close of 15,746. 

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) shares helped the index reach its milestone Wednesday, adding 1% in trading despite a bizarre glitch on its website giving lucky shoppers comically good deals on a number of random items. Had you been seeking out a treadmill, for instance, you could've scored one for less than $35, according to Reuters. Good thing Wal-Mart's online sales are just a tiny sliver of its overall revenue, though the retailer is hoping to change that by ramping up its web discounts for the holiday season.

Outside the Dow, Hong Kong-based casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment (NASDAQ: MPEL  ) jumped 3.4%. Melco Crown operates casinos in the lucrative Macau market, the only market in China where gambling is legal. While that fact alone screams opportunity to investors, the company's quarterly results yesterday received a muted response from Wall Street. Despite net income soaring by more than 70% from the same period last year, Melco's win rate fell slightly, which means the house didn't come out on top as frequently as it did last year. But with another Macau resort in the works and gambling still exhibiting strong growth, it's tough to not see Melco's allure.

Lastly, teen apparel retailer Aeropostale (NYSE: ARO  ) plunged 8.7% due, ironically, to its sworn rival Abercrombie & Fitch hitting a rough patch of its own. Abercrombie sales fell 12%, more than forecasts called for, and Wall Street analysts expect an underwhelming holiday season from the teen retail sector in general. Investors promptly reacted by selling off shares of Aeropostale -- because who knows teen retail better than Wall Street analysts, right? Aeropostale doesn't report earnings until December, but investors are hoping there are earnings to report: The company has posted three straight quarters of losses. 

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