Why Intuitive Surgical, Zale, and Abercrombie & Fitch Soared Today

Employment numbers left the stock market on uncertain ground, but many stocks earned big gains. Find out why Intuitive Surgical climbed 9%, Zale soared 15%, and Abercrombie & Fitch gained 12%.

Jan 10, 2014 at 8:01PM

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.

Stock markets once again finished the week on a mixed note, with the Dow losing ground even as the broader S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite posted modest gains on the day. The news of the day was a potential game changer, with poor jobs growth raising questions about whether the Federal Reserve's assessment of an improving economy will prove justified by future economic performance. Still, even with hesitation within the market at large, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), Zale (UNKNOWN:ZLC.DL), and Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) all posted substantial gains Friday.

Intuitive Surgical rose 9%. Yesterday, the company released findings from a study showing that robotic-assisted prostatectomy showed favorable results compared to traditional open surgical procedures, including fewer complications and shorter hospital stays. These findings are consistent with early results comparing robotic surgery to alternatives, but the results are more important after concerns called the safety of robotic surgery into question. Moreover, as virtual reality technology becomes more advanced, Intuitive Surgical could see greater demand as doctors get more comfortable with the concepts involved.

Jewelry retailer Zale finished up nearly 15% after announcing favorable results this morning for its holiday season. The jeweler said that comps rose 2% after adjusting for exchange-rate changes, although revenue fell in dollar terms. Investors were especially pleased that the company managed to boost its gross margin by two full percentage points, with half of that gain falling through to operating margins. Given the high levels of promotional activity among retailers in 2013, it was encouraging for Zale to do as well as it did.

Abercrombie & Fitch rose 12% after the long-slumping teen retailer finally gave investors the update to the holiday quarter they'd hoped to see. Comparable-store sales for the nine-week period ending Jan. 4 showed a drop of just 6%, with a sharp 25% increase in direct-to-consumer sales helping minimize the declines for the teen retailer. Combined with a $0.15 per-share increase in its projected range for adjusted earnings per share, A&F has investors hoping that it has hit bottom and is starting to recover from its worst times.

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Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends Intuitive Surgical. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intuitive Surgical. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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