U.S. markets took a bit of a breather today, and were unable to follow through on their big upside gains from Wednesday. Crude oil was once again down more than 1%. And declining health care stocks, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH), which lost 5% after cutting its annual forecast, were a drag on the markets.
A number of Federal Reserve policymakers were offering opinions that investors were noting. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart was quoted as being “comfortable with moving off of zero soon.”
In economic news, initial jobless claims were reported at 271,000, just about what the street was expecting. Also, U.S. October leading indicators were up just a little bit more than expected, at 0.6%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq finished flat on the day, while the S&P 500 was just off 0.1%. Yet all sectors, except for health care and energy, were higher on the day.
Some positive dividend news had investors excited, moving Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), and Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR) forward. Those two, along with Sketchers USA Inc (NYSE:SKX) are three of today’s best stocks. Here’s the full story.
Intel Corporation (INTC)
INTC stock was the biggest gainer on the Dow today after the company raised its quarterly dividend and said revenue is expected to increase again in 2016. INTC rose more than 3%.
The chipmaker said it will raise its quarterly dividend from the current 24 cents to 26 cents a share, giving INTC stock an approximate 3% annual dividend yield. Revenue growth is expected to be up 1% in the “mid single digits” for the 53-week 2016 fiscal year.
INTC stock has done quite well since August, rising about 36% over that time.
Keurig Green Mountain Inc (GMCR)
GMCR stockholders had quite a caffeine jolt this morning, as the single-serving coffee company reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 85 cents per share on revenue of $1.03 billion after yesterday’s closing bell. Both numbers were better than the analysts’ predictions for 71 cents a share on revenue of $1.03 billion.
Also boosting the stock was the announcement that the board of directors has approved a 13% increase in the company’s dividend to $1.30 per share.
GMCR stock has seen a lot of short selling recently, so today’s news took out many of those short positions, as the stock gapped up 18%.
Sketchers USA Inc (SKX)
Sketchers stock was a winner today after the shoe maker was given a favorable ruling from the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) amid a lawsuit filed by Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) unit Converse Inc. against Sketchers.
What also makes this story intriguing is that on the day before the ruling, SKX stock jumped up over 10% on no apparent news. Otherwise, SKX probably would have garnered even more than the 4% it was up by day’s end.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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