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.
After losing 153 points yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) fought back and rallied 167 points, or 1.08%, today and managed for the second time this week to close at and new all-time high at 15,761. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq also rose this afternoon, 1.34% and 1.6%, respectively. The moves came after a much-better-than-expected jobs number was released for October, in which the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that 204,000 new positions were created during the month. That figure was well above the expected 125,000.
But not all news was good on Wall Street or within the Dow today. One of the Dow's only three few losers was McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), which lost 0.2%. The move was the result of McDonald's reporting lower-than-expected comparable-restaurant sales during the month of October. Although global growth for restaurants opened more than a year rose 0.5% during the month, analysts had anticipated a 0.6% increase. Europe was the shining light, which experienced 0.8% growth in that region of the world while the U.S. rose 0.2%, but the decline of 2.8% in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa hurt the overall results. When sales were compared to the same time frame last year, the U.S. experienced a decline of 1.8%, while Europe was off by 2.2%.
On the flip side, investors pushed shares of Gap (NYSE:GPS) higher by 9.75% after it reported that its October same-store sales figures rose 4% while estimates had it pinned at growth of just 0.1%. In addition, it gave better-than-expected guidance for the quarter. Management feels earnings per share will hit within the range of $0.70-$0.71 while analysts had estimated EPS at just $0.66.
While these same-store sales figures are important for both Gap and McDonald's, investors need to let things play out and give companies a few quarters, not just months, before making a buy or sell move. One month or even one quarter can be a fluke and not something you want to be putting money on.
And lastly, shares of Safeway (NYSE:SWY) fell 2.97% on news that the supermarket chain is holding talks with union officials in the Baltimore and D.C. areas in an attempt to avert a strike. The current contract is set to expire on November 15. Additionally, the grocer is looking for temporary workers in case a deal cannot be agreed upon prior to the deadline. Then, a slightly different story arose this afternoon indicating that David Einhorn has built a short position in Safeway, but those rumors have not yet been confirmed. Nevertheless, when some investors hear news like this, they act on it. As for current shareholders of Safeway or those now considering shorting the stock, while a strike in the Baltimore and D.C. area would not be great for the company, it would not likely cripple it. Before you make any moves, let's wait and see what happens first.
Fool contributor Matt Thalman has no position in any stocks mentioned. Check back Monday through Friday as Matt explains what causing the big market movers of the day and every Saturday for a weekly recap. Follow Matt on Twitter @mthalman5513.
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