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US Bancorp is worth a buy as we approach a slowdown in the rising tide of delinquency rates.
Unfortunately, the stock is up roughly 18% since I added it to the Watch List, climbing from $22.01 on Dec. 15 to around $26 on Friday.
But with this one, I haven't been waiting so much for a pull back in the stock's price as for convincing evidence that the turn in what has been a rising tide at banks of write-offs and reserves for delinquent and bad debt is only a quarter or two distant -- not way off in 2011. (Buying US Bancorp also increases my exposure to the U.S. stock market, which I think will outperform the rest of the world's markets over the next few months. See this post.)
Azoff says Guns N' Roses lead vocalist also owes him and management company Front Line commission on $12.5 million in earnings
Two years ago music mogul Irving Azoff told the world he and his management company, Front Line Management, were "honored” that Axl Rose had "placed his trust in us" to represent him and Guns N'Roses.
That was then. On Thursday, Front Line filed a lawsuit in L.A. County Superior Court, claiming that Rose and GNR owe the company more than $1.8 million under their management agreement.
The suit also asks for a full accounting of Rose to determine what other funds Front Line might be owed.
With Leno out of the 10 p.m. slot and some new shows that seem to be working, the troubled Peacock is showing signs of stability.
Don't call it a comeback -- but after years of free fall, NBC's prime-time lineup seems to have found at least a temporary measure of stability.
One month after its latest scheduling reboot, the Peacock finds itself looking a lot like a contestant during the early weeks of "The Biggest Loser."
Sure, it's still in bad shape, and it's got a host of well-documented problems it should have dealt with long ago.
But instead of drifting aimlessly from one fad programming diet to another -- Supersized shows! Managing for Margin! Leno at 10! -- NBC, like the sweaty souls on its hit weight-loss reality show, seems to have found a game plan.
Model investors view this market through different lenses. Here's how they describe what they see.
Is the rally about to fade? Or is there still plenty of room to run? The investment gurus I follow tended to be positive this past week -- with some notable exceptions.
On the bullish side was hedge fund guru Barton Biggs, who told Bloomberg that he thinks the market has good momentum behind it, and that stocks have another 10% climb left in them. Biggs also said that while some have envisioned a new investing and financial world after the recent crisis, “the world is never different”, and that still-frightened investors will come back to stocks eventually.
Top fund manager John Hussman sees the current market differently. He's taking a defensive position, saying in his latest market commentary that two dangers -- an overbought, overvalued market and a second wave of credit losses -- mean investors should be cautious. He says that, aside from the "bubble years" from the late '90s through 2007, "the S&P 500 has never been priced to achieve a poorer long-term return than it is now.”
The nation's largest retailer is taking a new interest in selling fresh, locally grown produce. Will this threaten its upscale grocery rival?
In these tough times, the savior for small organic farmers may be none other than Wal-Mart (WMT).
Yes, Wal-Mart, purveyor of all things made in China, is actually helping local U.S. farmers stay in business as the economy has squashed demand for organic products, according to The Atlantic.
Writer Corby Kummer searched through a Massachusetts Wal-Mart and found apples that came from the same local orchard as ones at rival Whole Foods Market (WFMI). Organic bananas and peaches were tastier at Wal-Mart than other stores.
The casino business is growing fast in Macau. The Chinese government may have other plans.
Sands is up a whopping 775% since bottoming at $2.70 per share last spring. Wynn is up 390% from about the same time.
One reason for the gains: Expansion in China, specifically Macau. What then to make of the news that China plans on limiting gambling expansion?
The Oracle of Omaha makes an acquisition, reduces his stake in Moody's and urges a South Korean steelmaker to rethink a deal.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are some of the most important Buffett stories from the past week.
On Monday, Wall Street buzzed after Bloomberg reported that bond investors considered some Berkshire Hathaway notes safer than U.S. government bonds with similar maturities. According to the report, yields on Berkshire’s two-year notes were 3.5 basis points lower than comparative government bonds.
Systemax has relaunced CompUSA and could bring Circuit City stores back online, but weak consumer spending may sink the effort
Systemax (SYX), owner of the online electronics clearinghouse Tiger Direct, is jumping into the brick-and-mortar retail game. That’s a bit of a surprise, since this may not exactly be the economic environment to make a big push into any segment of retail.
But the real shocker is that Systemax is making the move under two defunct big box brands: Circuit City and CompUSA.
Investment bankers are said to be pitching the electronics retailer to private-equity firms.
Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet
RadioShack (RSH) is exploring strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company for more than $3 billion, reported the New York Post, citing unidentified sources.
Investment bankers have begun pitching RadioShack to their private-equity clients, notifying them of the electronics retailer's willingness to sell, according to people close to the situation, the Post reported.
RadioShack could also merge with rival Best Buy (BBY), the newspaper said.
The 3-D rage is prompting movie-theater chains to raise prices.
It's going to cost movie lovers more to go see their favorite films today.
Movie-theater chains Regal Entertainment Group (RGC), Cinemark Holdings (CNK) and AMC Entertainment are raising prices for 3-D films, thanks to big demand for hits like "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland."
Beginning today, prices for adult admission to 3-D movies will jump an average 8.3% at movie theaters across the country, according to BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield, who surveyed 10 theaters in different major cities. Greenfield found that IMAX movie tickets will cost people about 10% more, while regular old 2-D movie prices are expected to increase about 4% on average.
Nothing seems to be going right in this stranded sector right now.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Natural gas is in purgatory. These stocks can't win for losing.
It looks like the Environmental Protection Agency is coming down on new ways to drill, the price of the commodity can't increase to save its life, and Congress isn't ready to debate use of the fuel.
Falling below $4, its lowest since September, may be the last straw for a group that has no place to put its inventory and no new contracts to burn it off. In other words, whatever the expectations are for natural-gas demand, they don't include using all that is obtainable from the Marcellus or Barnett shales.
Is Qualcomm trying to prop up a sinking share price with its actions?
Thursday, Qualcomm raised its outlook for fiscal second-quarter sales and earnings. The company said it was shipping more chipsets for CDMA cell phones than it had expected.
Expected when? Why, all the way back in January, when the company, after reporting its results for the fiscal first quarter (and badly missing Wall Street estimates), told analysts to expect lower sales and earnings for the fiscal second quarter. That guidance tanked the stock.
New restaurant mimics stock market, lets customers set prices by bidding menu items up or down.
A new restaurant in Manhattan is using the stock market as a model for how it sets menu prices.
The restaurant, appropriately called the Exchange Bar & Grill, even has a ticker tape flashing the changing menu prices in red lettering, according to Reuters.
A particularly popular dish will start to move up in price by 25-cent increments as people order it. The hot wings, for example, start at $7 but could jump to $8 or $9 as the evening went along.
One investment firm writes about why it decided to dump half its holdings in the company.
The firm, Reed Conner & Birdwell, says it manages about $1.7 billion for wealthy clients. Berkshire was one of its larger holdings going back to 2000, but last month it sold half its position.
Why? The investors there think Berkshire is at best worth around $83 per share (it was trading just under $82 Thursday). Here are some of RCB's concerns about the stock, and the company:
Top executives received more cash last year, but lost out on overall compensation as stock awards and options were cut.
The cash earnings that chief executives received last year rose by 8.3%, according to an analysis by Bloomberg BusinessWeek. This is exactly the opposite of what the Obama administration would like to see.
But overall, average compensation fell by 8.6% to $9.8 million, at least for the 81 CEOs included in the analysis. That's because companies cut the stock awards and options that the CEOs received.
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Try as the bears might, they couldn't break U.S. stocks. But investors still face frothy prices and considerable headwinds.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks entered the weekend on a mixed note as the S&P 500 shed 0.1% while the Dow ended with a gain of 0.1%.
The major averages began the day on a lower note as nine of ten sectors saw losses of more than 0.5%.
The consumer staples sector was the lone exception as the group spent the entire day in positive territory thanks to the relative strength of Dow component Procter & Gamble (PG 81.89, +3.19). The second-largest staple stock advanced ... More
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