How Netflix, TripAdvisor, and Tiffany Pushed the S&P 500 to Record Highs

The S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC  ) closed the week at another all-time record high, climbing above the 1,900 mark for the first time ever. Generally optimistic views from market participants helped keep the broader stock market moving ahead. But in particular, sizable gains from Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) , TripAdvisor (NASDAQ: TRIP  ) , and Tiffany (NYSE: TIF  ) led the S&P higher and pointed to solid trends that could help support the bull market in the future as well.

Netflix soared 15% as the video-streaming giant started to give some details on its international expansion plans for this year. Although Netflix didn't reveal everything, customers in six European countries, including Germany and France, will start to get service in the near future as Netflix starts to make the necessary preparations to offer streaming in those areas. Given the success that Netflix has had with international expansion in Great Britain as well as Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark over the past couple of years, it's natural for the streaming giant to seek to blanket the European continent in order to give residents a uniform experience they can take with them wherever they travel.

TripAdvisor also picked up 15% on two pieces of conflicting news. On one hand, the Italian government is investigating TripAdvisor's travel-booking website in order to determine whether it's doing enough to prevent false reviews from appearing there and influencing its users improperly. At the same time, though, TripAdvisor finalized its purchase of online restaurant-reservation company lafourchette, boosting its exposure to Europe and giving it a greater capacity to compete directly against other dining-reservation companies. By going beyond mere reviews, TripAdvisor is seeking to give restaurant customers a more complete menu of offerings that add value to their operations, and hopefully, the move will be a win-win for both TripAdvisor and its clients.

Source: Tiffany's Pinterest.

Tiffany gained 7% after the luxury jeweler reported blowout earnings results. With many retailers having had sluggish growth at best, Tiffany saw same-store sales gain 9%, with particularly strong results in the key Japanese market and solid revenue growth throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The conclusion that investors drew from Tiffany's results is that even in times when retailers are facing major challenges, the high-end market can behave much differently. Moreover, given the amount of effort Tiffany has expended to build up and maintain its reputation, customers trust it to give them value even when other companies cut corners in hard times. That's a big part of why Tiffany is well positioned for whatever the future brings.

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