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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.
Despite a weaker-than-expected industrial production number reported today, the major indexes all moved higher and the Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) and S&P 500 both once again set new all-time record highs. The Dow rose 85 points, or 0.54%, and now rests at 15,961, while the S&P 500 increased by 0.42% and the Nasdaq climbed higher by 0.33%. But while the economic data released today wasn't anything special, investors certainly liked what they heard from prospective Fed chair Janet Yellen, who stated that she thinks the Fed will keep its current monetary policies for the foreseeable future, indicating that cheap money will likely continue for some time.
A few winners and losers
One of the biggest losers on Wall Street today was Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA ) , which lost 7.32%. The move comes despite analysts at Piper Jaffray reiterating their overweight rating on the company and stressing that it will probably benefit from both a new PlayStation and Xbox being released this holiday season. While the analysts are excited about the whole industry, they highlighted Electronic Arts and GameStop as two of the best to own. But the one interesting thing about today's session was that the company saw nearly three times as many shares trade hands, which could indicate a large institution investor was dumping its position.
Shares of one of the original money transfer services, Western Union (NYSE: WU ) , fell 4.3%. The move came after a Wall Street Journal report said the CIA was building a database of international money transfer data and Western Union was one company supplying it with information. This news was reported to the paper by individuals familiar with the matter. It is believed that this has been allowed to be done due to the same provision in the Patriot Act that allows the NSA to gather information on telephone calls. This decline seems a little overblown, unless we see a mass shift to some other form of money transfer service now that individuals realize that these transactions are likely being monitored. There is a certain amount of risk with this stock based on this information and the fact that other services are more user friendly. This does look like a good buying opportunity, however, if you've been thinking about jumping on the Western Union bandwagon.
Shares of the teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF ) fell 1.59%. They are now down 21% over the past 52 weeks, as compared to the S&P 500 being up nearly 30% during that same time frame. Today's decline came with little news, but research firm Mizuho did initiate coverage this morning and slapped a neutral rating on the stock, which certainly didn't help push shares higher. Furthermore, the "mad" TV personality Jim Cramer placed the company's CEO on the wall of shame yesterday and stated that Michael Jeffries -- despite building A&F up from nothing in the 1990s -- hasn't done much for Wall Street lately. Cramer went as far as to say that Jeffries doesn't know what's going on with his business based on the fact that he made bullish forecasts earlier in the year only to announce a warning that results would be lower than expected.
While I am sure the analyst at Mizuho and Cramer are both extremely intelligent individuals, investors should come to their own conclusions about a company before buying or selling, not just taking advice from an "expert." Lastly, for full disclosure, I am very bearish on this stock and once upon a time had a short position in it.
More Foolish insight
To learn about two retailers with especially good prospects, take a look at The Motley Fool's special free report: "The Death of Wal-Mart: The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail." In it, you'll see how these two cash kings are able to consistently outperform and how they're planning to ride the waves of retail's changing tide. You can access it by clicking here.