Dow Makes History With Record Close, Zulily Plunges (Again)

McDonald's entices investors with flavored fry rollout; Melco Crown recovers after steep pullback as earnings brought back into focus.

May 9, 2014 at 6:16PM

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. 


Flavored versions of McDonald's fries have sold well in Asia for years. Source: McDonald's

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.

John Divine has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

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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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