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S&P 500, Dow Close at New Record Highs, Gold Sinks

Dan Berman
Hot Stock Minute

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 moved further into record territory today, both higher by roughly 1% to close at new record highs. But it was the tech-heavy Nasdaq that really took off, rising 1.8% to 3,297. Stocks rallied after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its last meeting at 9am est instead of the regularly scheduled 2pm est release. The details of the March meeting showed expected divisiveness among FOMC members regarding how long to keep stimulus measures in place.

Meanwhile, gold prices suffered their worst trading session since November, tumbling 1.8% to $1,558.80 an ounce, after Goldman Sachs cut its price target on the precious metal. Goldman now expects an average price of $1,545 an ounce for 2013, down from $1,610. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), which generally tracks the performance of the price of bullion, ended the day lower by 1.7%.

Family Dollar (FDO) came up a penny short with its quarterly earnings report. The discount retailer says it made $1.21 per share, missing estimates by one cent. The company says it was hurt by delays in tax refunds, but says sales improved as the quarter progressed. Family Dollar has also cut its outlook. The company now expects to earn between 98-cents and $1.08 per share for the current quarter. Analyst estimates had been for $1.18.

The KPMG insider trading scandal certainly hasn't tripped up Skechers (SKX). The stock rose 1% today. That follows similar increases yesterday. KPMG says a senior staff member identified as Scott London was supplying inside information on Skechers as well as Herbalife (HLF). London has been terminated. Trading of both Skechers and Herbalife was suspended for part of the trading day yesterday.

Chipotle (CMG) shares rose 3% today, climbing above $340 a share for the first time since last September. The chain says it plans to counteract rising food costs by raising prices. It also hopes to open 180 new stores before year end. The company will report its quarterly earnings next week.

Taylor Morrison Home Corp. (TMHC) rose the roof right after its IPO. The stock jumped 5% from its offering price of $22 per share. Taylor Morrison is the builder backed by TPG Capital and Oaktree Capital Management. It operates under the Taylor Morrison and Darling Homes brands here in the U.S. The company sold 28.6-million shares in the offering.