The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) broke a two-day losing streak on Wednesday, as investors expressed their relief with minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting. The head honchos at the central bank indicated that the monthly bond-buying program will likely end in October, bringing an end to the gradual "tapering" process that began late last year. The Fed also vowed to keep interest rates low for the time being, an outlook that helped send the Dow up 78 points, or 0.5%, to end at 16,985.
Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) finished as the top performer in the Dow today, tacking on 1.6%. The global entertainment giant will begin selling its movies through Apple's iTunes in Japan once more, after briefly interrupting their availability due to a disagreement on terms. That's good news, of course, but Disney's reach in Japan is far wider than the iTunes store. It also earns regular royalties from the Disneyland in Tokyo, operates film studios in the country, and boasts several other lines of business. But Disney's Asian operations don't stop there; the company is constructing a theme park in Shanghai, further diversifying its global empire and showing its belief in Asia.
Shares of The Container Store (NYSE: TCS ) , meanwhile, suffered through a miserable 8.4% plunge today after the retailer reported a surprising drop in same-store sales last quarter. It was the first such decline in more than four years for the company, which helped contribute to the stock's precipitous decline today. Also not helping matters was The Container Store's earnings guidance, which reduced full-year earnings per share forecasts from $0.56-$0.61 to the $0.49-$0.54 range. Motley Fool analyst Simon Erickson sees the core conflict at the company as a clash between culture and growth as the newly public Container Store adjusts to life under the quarterly scrutiny of Wall Street.
Finally, American Airlines Group (NASDAQ: AAL ) finished as one of today's big winners, tacking on 4.3%. American Airlines boosted its margin forecasts for the second quarter, an announcement investors cheered as they chose to ignore roughly $600 million in charges related to fuel hedging and bankruptcy reorganization. Other company trends looked promising, however; passenger traffic rose 1% last month, and passenger revenue per available seat mile, a widely watched metric in the industry, should rise about 6% in the second quarter by the company's projections.
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