Stocks inched further into record territory today despite an underwhelming retail sales report, as the S&P 500 momentarily cracked the 1,900 barrier for the first time but finished up just 0.04% at 1897.45. Elsewhere, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) gained 20 points, or 0.2%, while the Nasdaq dropped 0.3% after yesterday's big rally.
In the closely watched retail sales report, the Department of Commerce showed consumer-level purchases increasing just 0.1% in April, below estimates of 0.3%, but March's growth rate was revised upward from 1.2% to 1.5%. Core retail sales, which remove the volatile auto market, remained flat. While April's figure on its own could be discouraging, the jump in retail sales over the past two months still indicates solid economic growth, as has much of the data that's come out in the past few weeks.
Among today's big winners was Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ: GMCR ) , whose shares jumped 7.6% after Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) said it will up its stake in the single-cup coffee brewer from 10% to 16%. Back in February, Coke said it would share its beverage portfolio with Keurig for the upcoming Keurig Cold countertop soda machine and take a 10% stake in the Vermont-based coffee roaster. Coke said, "These incremental purchases demonstrate our continued belief that Keurig Green Mountain has substantial growth potential," and, unlike its initial investment, these shares will be purchased on the open market, which will likely drive Keurig's share price even higher. Soda consumption has been declining domestically and Coke is looking for new ways to juice its growth. The Keurig Cold machine won't be out until 2015, so its popularity remains a question mark, but Coke's willingness to invest another $1 billion into its new beverage partner is certainly a sign of confidence in its future success.
Falling back after hours today was watchmaker Fossil (NASDAQ: FOSL ) , which dropped 5% after posting underwhelming guidance in its quarterly report. First-quarter results were better than expected for the fashion-accessory brand, as earnings came in at $1.22 per share, above estimates at $1.17, and revenue grew 14.1%, in part because of an extra week in the calendar, to $777 million, beating the consensus at $770.69 million. Sales grew across the board in the company's wholesale segment, and were particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific region and in jewelry sales. CEO Kosta Kartsotis noted progress in the company's international expansion, with "significant increases in both Europe and Asia." Shares dipped, however, as management saw current-quarter EPS of just $0.90-$0.97 against estimates of $1.16. The sell-off seems overdone, however, as the company's full-year earnings guidance of $6.90-$7.30 was in range of estimates of $7.20. With multiple growth channels and a consistent record of beating earnings estimates, Fossil still looks like a solid long-term bet going forward.
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