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.
The major U.S. indexes all finished today higher, after declining over the five previous sessions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher by 90 points, or 0.57%, while the S&P 500 rose 0.61% and the Nasdaq increased by 0.35%.
The move upward today was likely due to a better-than-expected consumer-confidence report from the Conference Board. The 80.7 figure easily beat the expected 78.1.
One big winner among individual stocks was teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), which rose 4.8% after the company announced that CEO Mike Jeffries will no longer be the company's chairman. The board has taken a lot of heat over the past few months about the stock's performance and the possible need for a new direction. To get customers back in the stores, many critics think the company needs to focus more on merchandise quality rather than on marketing and promotions. Jeffries has led the company since the days when it was a failing sports-brand retailer, and while he's certainly done a good job overall since his tenure began in 1989, there are those who think his time has come and gone and that he should have lost the CEO post as well. I have to agree.
Among the market's losers, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) absolutely tanked today. Shares fell 7.99%, or $44, after the company reported earnings on Monday after the closing bell. Revenue of $57.6 billion for the first quarter was a mark no other technology company has ever reached, and sales rose 6% over last year's comparable quarter, but the only reason earnings per share rose for the first time in five quarters was a result of the company's share-buyback plan. That's not something we'd expect from a growth stock, and many investors are concerned that Apple is no longer a good investment.
Finally, one stock that felt both some highs and lows today was Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), which closed with a 4.28% gain but fell 2.43% in the after-hours trading session following the company's quarterly earnings release. Online ad prices dropped again during the quarter, and Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba -- which Yahoo! owns a large stake in -- suffered a revenue slowdown for the period. Even worse, Yahoo!'s revenue dropped 6%, which extends the company's revenue decline into four consecutive quarters. Some investors are asking how long CEO Marissa Mayer will remain at the helm. Mayer, who's headed the company for 18 months, said she plans to focus more on the advertising side of the business in 2014, but analysts are doubtful that the company can adequately compete in that market, as it seems more and more technology start-ups are shooting for those ad dollars every day.