Despite the release this morning of a gross domestic product growth figure for the fourth quarter of 2013 that was weaker than previously projected, the major indexes are all moving higher in early afternoon. As of 1:05 p.m. EST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) was higher by 116 points, or 0.72%, the S&P 500 was up 0.67%, and the Nasdaq had risen 0.37%.
Gross domestic product growth figure was previously estimated at 3.2% for the year-ending quarter, but the revised figure today put that growth at 2.4%; analysts were expecting 2.5%. My colleague Alex Planes did a great job here explaining why investors don't care about this number today.
All but one of the Dow's components are moving higher today. The sole loser at the moment was AT&T, which you can read about here. One winner within the blue-chip index is Nike (NYSE: NKE ) , as shares are up 0.8%. The move comes as Forbes yesterday reported that Michael Jordan made $90 million in 2013 simply from the royalties from his contract with Nike. Jordan-branded shoes sales are estimated to have hit $2.25 billion last year. That figure is amazing considering even current NBA players such as LeBron James only sold $300 million worth of shoes last year. For Nike, paying that $90 million to Jordan is well worth it, because his shoes sell and the company is making big-time dollars off the deal.
Another apparel company making news today is lululemon athletica (NASDAQ: LULU ) as shares are down more than 5%. The drop comes after an analyst from Credit Suisse lowered the price target on the stock from $53 to $46. The analyst kept the neutral rating firm on the company. One reason given for the reduction was that communication issues from management to customers has hurt the customer-store relationship. Furthermore, margin issues in the coming quarters are projected to hurt earnings.
Outside the world of apparel, shares of Monster Beverage (NASDAQ: MNST ) , the maker of the popular Monster energy drink, are up more than 5.5%. The move comes after the company reported earnings after the closing bell yesterday. Revenue jumped to $541 million, a 15% jump from the previous year. The increased sales boost came as the company was under heavy fire about over health concerns of its product, indicating that while some may never drink a Monster, others don't seem to be concerned about the possible health issues. This company may still have a long way to grow, but investors need to have realistic expectations for Monster and a short leash.
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