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It took four days, but Dow 16,000 finally stuck until the close, with the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) finishing the day up 109 points. Particularly strong showings from the financial contingent of the Dow 30 pushed the average up, but their gains were small compared to the larger jumps that Sprint (NYSE: S ) , Textura (UNKNOWN: TXTR.DL ) , and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE: WSM ) saw. Let's look at why these three companies did so well today, to see if we can draw hints about other potential winners down the road.
Sprint climbed 8% even though the wireless carrier dropped to last place in a Consumer Reports ranking of cell phone service providers. The company had finished in second place last year, but consumers were unhappy about everything from value provided in the company's plans to reliability of Sprint's service. News that the FCC might allow cell phone calls and text messaging aboard aircraft could open up a new opportunity for Sprint to capture a new market niche.
Textura rose almost 10% in anticipation of its earnings report, which it released after the market closed today. The company, which provides software to the construction industry, saw its sales soar 72% from the year-ago quarter, accelerating from its previous growth rate and raising its full-year fiscal 2014 forecast for projected revenue as well. But the company's adjusted loss per share of $0.23 was a nickel per share worse than analysts had predicted, and as a result, Textura gave up most of its gains immediately after its announcement in after-hours trading.
Williams-Sonoma gained 8% after reporting strong earnings last night and raising its guidance for the full year. The home retailer boosted its net income by 16% on an 11% gain in sales, and Williams-Sonoma pointed specifically to success at its West Elm furniture stores and its PBteen children's bedroom furniture chain. As the housing market recovers, Williams-Sonoma can expect to see continued improvement in homeowners spending more to outfit their homes.
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