What have you done for us lately, Ben Bernanke? How about shoot the markets to fresh multi-year highs, yet again! A carryover from yesterday’s bullishness over a third-round of quantitative easing, coupled with a commodities rally, has nearly every sector singing a song of praise this week. For the day, the broad-based S&P 500 (INDEX: ^GSPC) ended up 5.78 points (0.4%), to finish at 1465.77. Let’s have a look at some of the companies that helped the S&P 500 out today, and note a few that held it back.
Companies that helped the S&P 500
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Michael Kovar! Kovar, the chief financial officer of accessory-maker Fossil (Nasdaq: FOSL), announced his retirement yesterday, and the stock responded by rocketing 11.4% higher today! While I doubt the move is correlated with Kovar’s retirement announcement, it does speak to the prospects of renewed clarity in Europe, where Fossil’s sales have struggled mightily. Despite today’s move higher, my Foolish colleague Brian Stoffel feels you might be better off keeping your distance from Fossil.
Commodity-based stocks continued their broad-based rally, following the announcement of QE3, including Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR), which ended the day up nearly 4%. The prospect of bond buying in Europe, mortgage-backed security buying in the U.S., and an infrastructure stimulus in China, signifies that world leaders will do whatever is necessary to get the global economy back on track. That’s great news for Alpha Natural, whose coal products are used to strengthen steel, and power electric utilities. Alpha Natural’s share price is up nearly 55% just since Sept. 4.
Companies that hindered the S&P 500
Last week, it was Seagate Technologies heading lower; today, it’s Western Digital (NYSE: WDC) holding the S&P 500 back. The hard drive maker lowered its third-quarter revenue forecast to $3.9 billion to $4 billion from a previous forecast of $4.2 billion to $4.3 billion. Wall Street had been looking for Western Digital to report $4.14 billion in sales. The move wasn’t truly unexpected given the recently weak outlooks from chipmaker Intel and PC giant Hewlett-Packard. Western Digital fell 3.6% on the day.
Footwear and apparel company Nike (NYSE: NKE) dipped 2.6%, after unveiling a $270 price tag for its new Lebron X sneakers. Nike had received a lot of backlash from consumers over the possibility that the shoe could retail for more than $300, but that can be put to bed now. What can’t be put to bed, though, is Nike’s European woes, which caused the stock to miss badly last quarter.
Chips and dip
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