Wednesday marked the fourth straight day of gains for the S&P 500 Index (SNPINDEX:^GSPC), which added 8 points, or 0.5%, to end at an all-time record close, 1,658. Of course, if you've been following the S&P, this is just more of the same news; the index has hit highs nine times in the past 10 trading days. Today's gains stemmed from sentiment that the Federal Reserve will continue its efforts to stimulate the economy.
IT and outsourcing company Computer Sciences (NYSE:CSC) slipped 9.7% Wednesday after its quarterly report. In its most recent quarter, the company far exceeded its earnings expectations -- the EPS of $1.28 blew the consensus $0.98 estimate away. But revenue came in about $140 million lower than what analysts were looking for, as sales fell 10%.
Metals and materials company Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) dropped 5.8% today, logging its second straight day as a major S&P decliner. The stock has been an absolute nightmare this year, with shares falling 45% in 2013 alone. One reason Cliffs has been losing steam is signs of decelerating growth in China, the world's second largest economy and a vital source of demand for materials and commodities.
Lastly, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the second-largest public company in the world, slumped 3.4% on a flurry of bad news. Reports surfaced that an Apple executive will have to testify before the Senate next week on its tax practices, which have been criticized before. The company has more than $40 billion in earnings abroad yet to be repatriated because of the nearly $14 billion it would owe if it did. The second catalyst driving the stock lower was news that David Tepper -- the hedge fund manager whose words moved markets yesterday -- decreased his fund's Apple holdings by 40% in the first quarter.