U.S. stock markets remained relatively unchanged this afternoon, maintaining their record highs. On a day of very light volumes, most of the attention focused on monetary policy in Europe and several retail companies that reported earnings today.
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The S&P 500 Index is on track to finish second-quarter earnings season at historic highs, with just a handful of the benchmarks' members still set to report earnings.
Tuesday's hot stocks to watch list is a hodgepodge of companies posting quarterly results, including a major electronics retailer, a firearms manufacturer, a semiconductor company, and more.
Second-quarter earnings season is winding down, with 480 S&P 500 components already reported. Total earnings for members that have turned in results are up 8.2% from the same period last year, with 66% beating expectations.
A number of key industry players are still on tap to report earnings.
As we close out the first half of 2014, its time to take a look back at the year-to-date U.S. stock market gainers and losers.
In December of 1999, Radioshack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) stock was worth more than $76 per share. Today, RSH is worth less than $1.
And while RadioShack is the most recent example of a high-flying stock that dropped to penny-stock levels, there are plenty of other major companies that are prime candidates to make the same move.
Dividend-paying stocks update: Presently, 421 companies in the S&P 500 Index pay a cash dividend - the most since September 1998's tally of 423.
And S&P 500 dividend stocks are on track to post a 10.5% increase in annual cash dividends paid in 2014.
Stock market today, May 22, 2014: Yesterday (Wednesday), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed with a triple digit jump after no surprises emerged from the U.S. Federal Reserve's April meeting minutes.
Looking at today's market, it's hard to believe Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) stock soared 254% in 2013, landing it among the 10 best-performing stocks of 2013.
Today (Thursday), shares of the Richfield, Minn.-headquartered company plummeted some 33% following reports of disappointing holiday sales. It was the largest single-day percentage drop for the stock since Aug. 8, 2002.