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Ralph Lauren Shares Enjoy Taylor Swift Bump

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Key Takeaways

  • The S&P 500 gained less than 0.1% on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, after solid earnings from Disney and renewed AI-fueled optimism in the semiconductor industry.
  • Ralph Lauren shares soared after the designer clothing firm reported robust quarterly results, boosted by a strong holiday season and high-profile publicity.
  • Facing a transition period, PayPal issued lackluster guidance, and its shares tumbled.

Major U.S. equities indexes posted minor gains on Thursday, boosted by several strong earnings reports. The S&P 500 edged higher by less than 0.1%, closing just shy of the 5,000-point milestone. The Dow was up 0.1%, and the Nasdaq added 0.2%.

Ralph Lauren (RL) shares had the biggest gains of the S&P 500, which soared 16.8% after the designer clothing firm reported sales and net income well ahead of forecasts for its fiscal third quarter. In addition to a strong holiday season, an increase in direct-to-consumer sales, and improvements in China markets, the company got a boost from Taylor Swift when she sported a Ralph Lauren look on the cover of “Time Magazine” for its 2023 Person of the Year feature.

Shares of Monolithic Power Systems (MPWR) jumped 14.2% following a better-than-expected earnings report. Increased demand for chips used in artificial intelligence systems helped the provider of power management devices exceed top- and bottom-line forecasts for the fourth quarter, and the company issued strong full-year guidance.

Strong financial results also helped lift shares of Walt Disney Co. (DIS), which added 11.5% on Thursday. While revenue fell slightly short of estimates, the entertainment giant topped estimates with its earnings per share (EPS) for the fiscal first quarter. The company also announced a $1.5 billion investment in Fortnite-maker Epic Games, saying that the companies would develop a gaming “universe” featuring Disney characters.

Meanwhile, PayPal (PYPL) shares dropped 11.2%, marking the heaviest losses among S&P 500 stocks. The payment provider issued weaker-than-expected guidance for the current quarter and the full year. The underwhelming 2024 outlook comes as the company undertakes a transformation to bolster future growth.

Snap-On Inc. (SNA), which provides tools and diagnostic equipment for repair professionals in transportation and other industries, reported mixed results for the fourth quarter of 2023. Although earnings exceeded forecasts, sales were lower than expected, and the company faces challenges in navigating a variable economic environment. Its shares sank 9.7%.

Shares of FleetCor Technologies (FLT) fell 9.2% after the business payments firm reported lackluster fourth-quarter results, missing revenue and profit estimates. Among the company’s newly realigned business segments, revenue from corporate payments grew year over year, but vehicle payments revenue declined.

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