Occupy Wall Street, the European debt crisis, the American Jobs Act — everything dominating financial and world news headlines for months took second billing Thursday as the world took a day to mourn the passing of the innovative, imaginative co-founder of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Steve Jobs.
Leaders of some of America’s biggest businesses — including rival Bill Gates of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) — paid homage. Appreciative Apple fans honored Jobs by displaying candles on their iPads. And current Apple CEO Tim Cook vowed to stay the course. Jobs was widely recognized for his numerous contributions through his gadgetry’s advancements in computing, communications and media, as well as the shining example he provided for how businesses should be run.
Apple’s stock finished Thursday down less than a dollar at $377.37 — an inconsequential drop on a day where most any movement would’ve carried minimal relative importance for the broader financial world.
That said, Wall Street didn’t grind to a complete halt Thursday. September retail sales came in big, came in loud and came in above expectations — at a 5.1% year-over-year increase over September 2010 sales that beat analysts’ target of 4.6%. Numerous retail stocks rode that news (and more) to the bank.
Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL), which also benefited from Citi Investment Research’s upgrade to “buy” from “hold,” shot up 6.33% to $141.29. The Buckle (NYSE:BKE) was up 4.8% to $43.86 after reporting a 10% uptick in same-store sales for September. Target (NYSE:TGT) gained 4.32% to $51.91. And J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) finished the day up almost 3% at $28.42 — that despite lowering guidance for the third quarter to earnings per share of 10 to 15 cents.
- Express Scripts (NASDAQ:ESRX): Up 11.35% ($4.08) to $40.02.
- Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN): Up 10.57% ($12.68) to $132.62.
- Bank of America (NYSE:BAC): Up 8.84% (51 cents) to $6.28.
- Wet Seal (NASDAQ:WTSLA): Down 12.74% (59 cents) to $4.04.
- Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ:QLIK): Down 3.36% (78 cents) to $22.41.
- China Telecom (NYSE:CHA): Down 2.61% ($1.58) to $62.63.
As of this writing, Kyle Woodley did not a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.