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.
Investors continued to pile into the stock market today on the heels of upbeat economic data that showed stronger domestic growth. U.S. gross domestic product, or GDP, for the third quarter was revised upward from 3.6% to 4.1% according to an estimate from the Commerce Department. Today's gains cap a stellar week for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) , which has surged 466 points in the last five sessions alone. Today, the Dow tacked on 42 points, or 0.3%, to end at 16,221.
Shares of the iconic fast-food restaurant McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) ended as some of the best in the Dow, adding 1.4% today. McDonald's Japan said yesterday that it would be closing 74 underperforming locations in the country, while also remodeling some existing locations to attract customers. Though the closure of 74 locations represents less than 2.5% of all McDonald's in Japan, costs associated with store closings and remodelings drove down McDonald's Japan profit forecasts. According to The Wall Street Journal, Mickey D's is also reportedly bringing back its Mighty Wings promotion, since it has about 10 million pounds of the chicken that went unsold the first time around.
Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD ) stock, which surged more than 260% in 2013, slumped 3.5% Friday, capping a hellish two-day sell-off. Stock in the drugstore may have hit an inflection point, especially if we're taking Rite Aid's guidance yesterday to heart. The company expects same-store sales growth of less than 1% going forward, an anemic improvement that puts the burden of future growth on expanding store counts, cost-cutting, and boosting its online presence.
Lastly, shares of fast-casual restaurant Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS ) lost 2.2% today, ending below its IPO-day close. Noodles & Company went public in late June, more than doubling on the first day of trading as investors gobbled up the new issue, bidding shares from $18 to $36.75. Now it's looking like markets may have gotten carried away. While the company may be growing quickly, the stock's current 160 P/E is cartoonishly high, and sets the bar for future growth at borderline unreasonable levels. While I don't personally believe today's numbers justify Noodles & Company's valuation, it's a young, relatively small operation with adoption potential that could one day make current shareholders very wealthy. Keep a close eye on the next couple of quarterly reports as they'll paint a nice picture of the business' trajectory.