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Gap surges on strong sales; Ralph Lauren tanks on disappointing outlook; Apple wants Beats

Hot Stock Minute

Investors were buying up shares of Gap (GPS) in early trading after the retailer reported April same-store sales that rose 9%, blowing past Wall Street estimates. The Easter holiday and a big jump in sales of its Old Navy brand helped boost its monthly results. The company also said it expects first-quarter earnings to be above expectations.

Another retailer not faring as well is Ralph Lauren (RL). The company was sharply lower in early trading after it warned earnings for full year 2015 will be below estimates. For the first quarter, Ralph Lauren beat analysts’ estimates, coming in at $1.68 a share versus estimates of $1.63 a share. Revenue also beat expectations coming in at $1.9 billion.

Shares of Rocket Fuel (FUEL) were sharply lower after the digital advertising company reported a narrower-than-expected loss of $0.18 cents a share in the first quarter, but revenue came in below estimates at $74.4 million dollars, hurt by higher expenses. The company also cut its revenue outlook for the second quarter. So far it has been a difficult year for the stock. As of Thursday’s close, Rocket Fuel is down more than 53%.

And we're watching Apple (AAPL) after reports the company is in talks to buy Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion. Beats was founded by rap icon Dr. Dre and reportedly had about a $1 billion in sales last year. The company makes high-end headphones and also recently started a subscription music service. With music download sales flat last year, the move is seen as a way for Apple to get into the growing subscription music market.

Separately, there are new reports that the iPhone 6 could be released earlier than expected. Taiwanese media reported supply-chain sources there said the new larger iPhone-6 will be released in August - one month earlier than previously thought.

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