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Dow Hits Another Record Despite Retailers' Christmas Warning

Jeremy Bowman
November 14, 2013

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over daily movements, we do like to keep an eye on market changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Stocks hit another record high as investors reacted positively to Fed chair nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing today. As expected, Yellen stood behind the loose monetary policies of the Bernanke regime and said they should continue until the economy recovers. She also conceded that the current bond-buying program could not go on forever, but also dismissed questions from senators suggesting that the stimulus program could be causing an asset bubble, explaining that the inflation rate is still low.

By the end of the session, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) and S&P 500 were within striking distance of new milestones at 16,000 and 1,800, respectively. For the day, the blue chips finished up 0.4%, while the S&P moved up 0.5%.

Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), the world's largest retailer turned in a middling earnings report this morning, with shares finishing up 0.2% after a slow start. The retail giant beat earnings estimates by a penny with a per-share profit of $1.14, but revenue missed, inching up 1.6% to $114.9 billion against the consensus at $116.4 billion. Same-store sales at all U.S. stores fell 0.1%, but Wal-Mart's smaller-format neighborhood market store were a bright spot as comps increased 3.4%. The chain also announced "aggressive plans to help customers enjoy the holiday season," rolling out a n