The string of record-high closes for the Dow Jones Industrials reached four today, as the Dow climbed 68 points on the heels of a strong employment report. Some economists downplayed the report, arguing that it doesn’t yet fully incorporate the impact of higher tax rates for 2013 as well as other looming threats, like government spending cuts under the sequester. Yet, investors weren’t inclined to worry too much about those future fears, instead taking the S&P 500 to within 1% of its record-high close back in 2007.
Within the Dow, Disney was the top gainer. The stock rocketed higher by almost 2% after the company announced that the next installment of the Star Wars saga would feature original Princess Leia actress Carrie Fisher, along with Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill, who played Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, respectively. With billions of moviegoers waiting impatiently for the seventh film in the series, Disney has some serious star power to send the movie into hyperdrive.
McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) climbed 1.7% after announcing its sales results for the month of February. Even though same-store sales disturbingly fell again, one thing to note is that last February had 29 days due to the 2012 leap year. Once you take out that impact, same-store sales worldwide were actually up 1.7%.
Still, the domestic introduction of Fish McBites, and other attempts to boost revenue, didn’t produce the results that the company had hoped for. The company needs to reawaken growth in order to sustain its share-price gains.