Finance Latest News: US Stocks End Higher, Helped by Gold Miners

The stock market is closing at a record high despite a disappointing quarterly performance from McDonald's.But the price of gold broke above the $1,300 mark for the first time in a month, and gave mining stocks a lift. Gold rose $43.10, or 3 percent, to $1,336 an ounce. The S&P 500 edged higher and was on track for a third record closing high, led by shares of banks and materials companies, while McDonald's fell on disappointing earnings. The weaker-than-expected results from McDonald's Corp, the world's largest restaurant chain, kept the Dow from making gains after the company said full-year results would be "challenged" in the face of falling sales in Europe, its biggest market. Its shares lost 2.7 percent to $97.60. Microsoft has long been the leader when it comes to personal computing, but the advent of mobile marked a major paradigm shift that Microsoft still hasn't gotten a grasp on. Microsoft still dominates the PC market by a staggering margin; Windows currently powers 91.5% of all PCs currently in use, according to Net Applications' June data. But there's a huge problem: The PC market isn't where the growth or profits are anymore when it comes to connected devices. In a recent post on his blog titled "The irrelevance of Microsoft," mobile analyst Benedict Evans shared a few charts that help illustrate why Microsoft is facing such a huge conundrum right now.
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