Stocks posted strong gains in May, but the month ended quietly on Wall Street. Still, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 18 points, closing at a record high. The Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 5 points and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) gained 3 points, edging to its fourth record high in five days. For the month, the Nasdaq was the leader, up about 3 percent.
Some of the laggards in reporting quarterly earnings made big moves.
Express (EXPR) fell 7½ percent as net tumbled from a year ago and the retailer cut its outlook. Pacific Sunwear (PSUN) slid 17 percent. It also cut its forecast for the current period. And Guess (GES) lost 5 percent after posting a loss as sales at the apparel maker dropped.
On the upside, big gains for Big Lots (BIG). Shares of the discount retailer jumped 13 percent. The company beat expectations and raised its forecast.
Ann (ANN), formerly known as Ann Taylor, rose 4 percent. It also topped expectations. While many retailers have struggled, Ann shares are up 29 percent over the past year. While Ann was up, Annie's (BNNY) wasn't. The maker of natural foods fell 6 percent after coming up short of expectations and lowering its outlook.
And it was also a rough day for some tech companies. Infoblox (BLOX), which automates Internet functions, tumbled 37 percent. It issued a weak forecast and the company's CEO resigned. That prompted several analysts to downgrade their ratings. And two leading cyber-security firms lost ground. FireEye (FEYE) fell 5 percent and F5 Networks (FFIV) lost 2 percent.
Two more earnings for you: Splunk (SPLK) went splash, dropping 16 percent on a weak outlook for sales of its software. And the movie company Lions Gate (LGF) lost 11½ percent. Revenue fell despite a strong start for its film "Divergent."
There was also movement on some ongoing merger stories.
Allergan (AGN) gained nearly 6 percent after Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) again sweetened its offer.
Men's Wearhouse (MW) gained 3 percent as federal regulators approved its merger with Jos. A. Bank (JOSB), which added more than 1 percent.
And Lorillard (LO) gained 3 percent on market rumors that Reynolds American (RAI) will raise its bid.
Finally, some of the big name social media stocks were in the red. Facebook (FB) fell 1 percent and Twitter (TWTR) lost 4½ percent.
What to Watch Monday:
Markit releases its purchasing managers manufacturing index for May at 9:45 a.m. Eastern time.
At 10 a.m., the Institute for Supply Management releases the its manufacturing index for May and the Commerce Department reports construction spending for April.
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD) reports quarterly earnings after U.S. markets close.
-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.
9 Ways to Live Large
After Market: Another Month for the Record Books
From 1945 to 1964, there was a radio or TV program called "Queen for a Day." This is similar, only it's real life, not a game show. Castlerentals.net allows you to rent castles in Ireland, France and Britain. It can be pricey –- at the time of this writing, one castle started at 7,500 euros ($10,300), with no mention of whether this is a daily, weekend or weekly rate. On one hand, if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it. On the other hand, the Chateau de Montfluery, near Vic-le-Comte, France, costs only 1,200 euros for a weekend. For 14 guests, it might not seem too steep.
This isn't buying a dress, wearing it and returning it, hoping nobody will notice the wine stain. At RenttheRunway.com, customers are encouraged to rent (for four to eight days) designer dresses and accessories, like jewelry and handbags, for a big event and then mail them back in a prepaid envelope. How much cheaper is renting than buying it? It depends on the outfit, but a Hervé Léger dress is retailing for $1,950 –- or you can rent it for $200. A dress by Shoshanna that retails for $385 can be rented for $40.
You can buy and rent islands at PrivateIslandsOnline.com. Yes, most are listed as "price upon request," meaning they're out of reach from the typical middle-class income, but you could rent an island for a night, with some listings going for less than $500.
At HighlandTitles.com, you'll discover that 29.99 pounds can buy a square foot of property in Scotland. Then, because you'll be a land owner (albeit a minor land owner), you can call yourself laird, lord or lady. All of the site's profits, according to the website, go toward protecting Scotland's green space.
No doubt about it, hiring a private jet is squarely in the realm of the rich. But the daily deals at JetSuite.com can be attractive. You'll have to hurry since the deals are for the day of, but on the day this was written, there were three flights available from various locations in California and Nevada. If you wanted, for instance, to fly from Reno, Nevada, across the state to Las Vegas, you could have the entire jet for $536. With four seats, for a family of four, that's arguably cheaper than the airlines – and if you split the cost with friends, you could fly into Vegas in style.
In six cities now (and more on the way), KitchenSurfing.com lets you hire a personal chef. Prices start at $50 per person, which seems about on par with what you might spend at a fancy restaurant -– but you're getting the personal chef in your home. For an anniversary dinner, $50 and up per person seems like a deal.
Get your own personal driver for occasional trips. Car services that send a driver to pick you up are becoming more popular. Uber is probably the best-known of the bunch.
You know how when you book some hotels, especially if you want a good rate, you're locked into paying even if something comes up and you can't go? And you know things do come up sometimes. RoomerTravel.com has created a business model around that. Travelers can buy unused hotel rooms at a discount from hapless travelers who can no longer stay there. According to the company, it's typical to get up to 40 percent off the original booking price. Sample deals at the time this was written: a room at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, which regularly goes for $196 a night, was listed at $85, and a $563 room at St. Ermin's Hotel in London was $180.
If you can't live large from a financial perspective, you could approach the concept from a literal perspective and just feel large -– by buying a tiny house. One of the smaller listings on TinyHouseListings.com is just 120 square feet, yet it has "a loft, full-sized bed, working full-sized toilet and shower." You won't feel rich, but you will feel eco-friendly, which along with the price is the selling point for living in such a tiny home (this one's in Knoxville, Tennessee). That said, you'll want to go elsewhere if there is a hurricane or tornado coming. Or maybe any strong breeze.