A choppy session of trading ended with stocks rallying into the closing bell on Friday, as late afternoon buying sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) to its highest close ever. With a paucity of major economic data points to go on, much of the Wall Street activity this week was driven by the tail end of quarterly earnings season. While high-growth momentum stocks continued to have a tough time, investors in established, blue chip companies didn't feel the brunt of the pain this week. The Dow added 32 points, or 0.2%, to finish at a record 16,583 on Friday.
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) helped the heralded index edge higher today, adding 1%, as investors frothed at the mouth over new, tasty-sounding offerings at the fast food giant. McDonald's will be serving up three new variations of its famous fries -- that's right, folks... Mickey D's is doing flavored fries. In addition to its classic fries, the company is testing garlic parmesan, spicy buffalo, and zesty ranch flavors with U.S. consumers. Customers will get a pack of seasoning and a bag with their order, allowing them to mix the flavor themselves. For those curious to try the new iterations, you may want to tame your optimism: the offering is only being tested in parts of California and St. Louis.
Elsewhere, Zulily (NASDAQ: ZU ) investors couldn't get a reprieve from what's been an absolutely horrendous week. After cratering 30% on Wednesday, the stock slumped another 7.8% on Friday. When all was said and done, the company's shares went on a flash sale of their own this week, trading for 35% less Friday afternoon than they did on Monday morning. While revenue at the web-based women's retailer continues to soar -- sales were up 87% year over year last quarter -- Zulily is having trouble handling its own success, struggling to fill orders in time on the high demand. On top of those concerns, company insiders will be allowed to sell their shares when the "lockup period" expires next week, a situation that led to a single-day, double-digit fall in shares of Twitter earlier this week.
Finally, shares of Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (NASDAQ: MPEL ) jumped 4.8% Friday as investors turned their attention back to the company's impressive quarterly results. Melco Crown's stock dropped 5.6% on Thursday after reports that Chinese authorities had begun cracking down on shady money-transfer schemes in Macau. Even though Melco Crown beat earnings-per-share estimates as the world's gambling capital continued to heat up last quarter, Wall Street worried that increased scrutiny on the flow of money into the region would hurt the area's casinos. Only time will tell if the crackdown will materially affect Melco and its rivals, but as long as Macau remains the only place in China where gambling is legal, growth prospects still look enticing.