Stocks drove deeper into record territory on Monday, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) and the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) indexes finishing higher by more than 0.5%.
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Financial stocks led indexes higher, which pushed the popular Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT: XLF) up 1%. Gold prices continued to bounce around, but today they trended lower to produce a 4% decline in Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEMKT: NUGT) .
As for individual stocks, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Knoll (NYSE: KNL) each made notable moves on Monday.
Apple's new record
Apple shares rose to a new high for the first time in almost two years as the tech titan gained more fans on Wall Street. Two analyst notes added to rising optimism that the company's first revenue uptick in almost a year will be followed by hefty sales and profit gains ahead.
UBS analyst Steve Milunovich argued that Apple's market capitalization doesn't fully capture the value of its booming services segment. That highly profitable division grew at a 20% clip last quarter, and since it's responsible for more than 10% of sales, the segment is making the company less vulnerable to the kinds of demand swings that plague pure-play hardware makers. That means Apple's stock should reflect the premium that services giants like PayPal enjoy, UBS argued.
Separately, analyst Simona Jankowski at Goldman Sachs boosted her Apple price target from $133 per share to $150 per share, citing groundbreaking new features that could be part of the 10th-generation iPhone. These likely include 3D-sensing technology that "could be the new killer app to reinvigorate upgrade demand for premium smartphones." Jankowski raised her iPhone sales estimates to 230 million units this year, which would amount to a massive upgrade cycle for the 10-year-old franchise.
Knoll's office space challenge
Knoll shares dropped 14% after the office furniture specialist announced surprisingly weak fourth-quarter results. Sales fell 4% to $293 million over the holiday quarter to mark a sharp slowdown from the prior quarter's 11% increase. Consensus estimates were targeting 3% growth, instead, to $314 million of revenue.
The main culprit was an 8% decline in office furniture sales that the company pegged on sinking office space demand in the U.S. market. "We were impacted in the fourth quarter by the slowdown in demand that has been sweeping across the industry," CEO Andrew Cogan said in a press release.
Image source: Knoll.
There was plenty of good financial news in the report, though. Expenses plunged by 18%, for example, and gross profit margin improved as well. Together, these two trends ensured that operating profit rose despite the smaller sales footprint. Knoll's bottom-line profitability expanded by more than a full percentage point to 12% of sales.
Looking ahead, Knoll executives believe office space trends will bounce back. "We see reasons to be hopeful that with the uncertainty of the presidential election behind us, demand should improve later in the year," Cogan explained. Investors didn't project the same optimism, and instead sent the stock sharply lower, reflecting expectations of more weakness on the horizon in the workplace furniture market.
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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and PayPal Holdings. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2018 $90 calls on Apple and short January 2018 $95 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .