Apple Buys Beats and DSW Gets Stomped

The S&P 500's two-day record-setting streak came to a close today as stocks finished slightly down as investors seemed to take the opportunity to take some profits off the table on a day with no major economic news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average  (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) finished down 43 points, or 0.3%, as the Nasdaq fell by the same percentage, and the S&P lost 0.1%.

With no domestic reports released today, investors were keeping an eye on developments in Europe, where European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is expected to cut interest rates next week, or add other stimulative measures to boost the sluggish European economy. That assumption caused 10-year treasury yields to slip to 2.44%, their lowest mark since July. 

Apple  (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) was making headlines today, confirming recent rumors that it would purchase Beats Electronics, acquiring the company known for its Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, for $3 billion. The acquisition is the biggest in the company's history, and yet another example of how much it's changed under CEO Tim Cook. Cook said the deal will help the iPhone maker "continue to create the most innovative music products in the world." Among other assets, Apple will gain access to Beats' subscription music service known as Beats Music, though Apple recently introduced its own streaming service, iTunes Radio. The deal could pave the way for wearable technology products from Apple, and Cook praised the talent of Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, who will now join Apple. The two brands will remain separate. Apple shares were flat in after-hours trading as the deal was widely expected and likely already priced into shares.   

Elsewhere, shares of DSW  (NYSE: DSW  ) got crushed today, falling 27% after its earnings report badly missed the mark this morning. The discount shoe retailer came up short on earnings, revenue, and guidance as management said severe winter weather and a highly competitive retail environment pressured performance in the quarter. Same-store sales dropped 3.7% in the quarter, leading to an overall revenue decrease of 0.4%. Earnings narrowed from $0.50 to $0.42, missing estimates at $0.48. The company dialed back its full-year guidance sharply, saying it sees comps in the low-single digits, and EPS of $1.45-$1.60, down from a previous range of $1.80-$1.95. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.90 for the year. Notably, peer Brown Shoe Co. jumped after its earnings report today, showing that DSW's problems can't be pinned on the industry. While today's drop could present a good buying opportunity, I'd like to see comps move in the right direction first.

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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!

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