Dow Hits a New Record as McDonald's and Apple Consider New Products

Despite spending the morning in the red, stocks rose in the afternoon to finish with modest gains, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average  (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) set a new closing record. The blue chips tacked on 32 points, or 0.2%, for the day to finish at 16,583, just edging past its former closing high of 16,581 set on April 30. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq, meanwhile, gained 0.2% and 0.5%, respectively.

With no major economic reports influencing investors, and earnings season complete for the vast majority of big-name stocks, it was a relatively quiet day on Wall Street. Investors continued to keep one eye on events in the Ukraine as recent data showing strong economic growth and better-than-expected earnings from the first quarter has kept stocks near record highs.

McDonald's  (NYSE: MCD  ) led the blue chips into record territory today, gaining 1% on reports that it may add seasoned french fries to its menu. Fries are a hallmark of the fast-food king, but rivals have been expanding their selection, as Wendy's introduced natural-cut fries, and Burger King unveiled a lower-calorie selection in recent years. McDonald's has decided to respond by testing flavor packs in three varieties -- garlic parmesan, spicy buffalo, and zesty ranch -- in two markets starting today. Customers would add the seasoning to the fries and shake them up in the bag. The news comes the day after the burger chain posted a 1.2% gain in comparable sales, an improvement over its first-quarter clip at 0.5%. Though the company promised to refocus on its core offerings, the seasoned fries offer an example of the many potential add-ons McDonald's can roll out to spice up its menu.

Also sparking curiosity today were rumors that Apple  (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) was preparing to buy headphone-maker Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. The acquisition would be the biggest in Apple's history, but would be a surprising one, as it does not seem to give the iPhone maker access to anything particularly unique, technology or otherwise. Headphones seem like a natural expansion for the iOS ecosystem, as Apple's earbuds can be uncomfortable and difficult to untangle, and Beats targets a similar customer. Beats also offers a music streaming service, but Apple recently rolled out its own in iTunes Radio last fall. The deal remains just a rumor at this point, and Apple shares finished down 0.4% on the day, indicating that investors may not be thrilled with the idea. With the tens of billions Apple has in its coffers, I'd like to see it moving toward more futurisitic technology if it's going to make a big-name acquisition like this one.  

Are McDonald's or Apple one of the top dividend stocks for the next decade?
The smartest investors know that dividend stocks simply crush their non-dividend paying counterparts over the long term. That's beyond dispute. They also know that a well-constructed dividend portfolio creates wealth steadily, while still allowing you to sleep like a baby. Knowing how valuable such a portfolio might be, our top analysts put together a report on a group of high-yielding stocks that should be in any income investor's portfolio. To see our free report on these stocks, just click here now.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2951826, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/28/2015 5:42:49 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Jeremy Bowman

Fool since 2011. I write about consumer goods, the big picture, and whatever else piques my interest. Follow me on Twitter to see my latest articles, and for commentary on hot topics in retail and the broad market.

Today's Market

updated 8 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,654.77 369.26 2.27%
S&P 500 1,987.66 47.15 2.43%
NASD 4,812.71 115.17 2.45%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/27/2015 4:35 PM
^DJI $16654.77 Up +369.26 +2.27%
AAPL $112.92 Up +3.23 +2.94%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
MCD $97.33 Up +2.18 +2.29%
McDonald's CAPS Rating: ***
BKW $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Burger King Worldw… CAPS Rating: *
WEN $9.30 Up +0.30 +3.33%
The Wendy's Compan… CAPS Rating: ***