The chain still has quality management and strong retention rates.
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Beyond the static is positive news for stocks that should boost valuations.
Earnings season kicked off last week with a solid report from Alcoa (AA). Unfortunately the market was more interested in the dysfunction in Washington. The debate over the debt limit overshadowed all else, sending investors to the exits.
Stocks were lower across the board.
Taking the debt discussion out of the equation, investors ought to be encouraged. There were lots of solid reports last week, including a big number from Google (GOOG). That news sent shares up a whopping 12% Friday.
What does the news portend for Apple? The technology giant reports earnings Tuesday, and most observers expect another strong report.
With many big names reporting results next week, stocks are likely to trade higher. Google's performance shows how large companies can make investors money. I’ll stick with that theme by making the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) the ETF to own this week.
The search giant may be the real social-media play, thanks to the launch of its innovative Google+ platform.
By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace Writer
It turns out news of Google's death has been greatly exaggerated. As seen with its latest quarterly report, the company still appears to be in growth mode.
In fact, the company is attacking the pesky social operators Facebook and Twitter, both of which have been fetching huge valuations. And as we've seen with the huge valuation of LinkedIn (LNKD), investors are extremely hungry to get shares in these companies when they hit the public markets.
In the past 72 hours, Europe got worse and debt-ceiling talks in the US deteriorated.
Stunned at how bad it looks Monday. Stunned that nothing good ever seems to happen in Europe at all. Nothing.
The stress tests just seem like total shams. I would have thought that, given the tremendous sovereign bond holdings these banks have, it would have been prudent just to issue statements that said, "If the banks we know have X level of debt don't raise capital, we will seize them and nationalize them." Something with real teeth.
Without that, we are facing the absurdity of this slow death that grinds and grinds. We have a 1980s-style Latin American debt crisis here. The sophisticated people around the globe know this, so there is no exit until the capital is raised and the bullet is bitten on the bogus sovereign bonds.
I was hoping for Geithner-like stress tests, ones that found every major bank issuing a ton of equity, something that makes our banks solvent -- although that does not make them investible.
Big-time redemptions may have caused several would-be rallies last week to fail. A short-term rally remains likely, but if sell-offs continue, June's lows could be tested.
BHP Billiton's massive cash bid for Petrohawk sent Petrohawk's share price soaring on Friday.
Fortune calculates that the golfer may only earn $20 million in endorsement deals this year -- a huge drop from the past.
Woods has still signed with Nike (NKE), Electronic Arts (ERTS) and Kowa, a company that makes a heat rub in Japan (insert your own joke here). He was likely only paid in the single-digit millions for a recent Kowa commercial running in Japan, Daniel Roberts writes.
This leads Fortune to speculate that Woods may actually be running out of money -- or at least isn't making enough to cover the lifestyle to which he's become accustomed.
After the company's fantastic June quarter, Wall Street is piling on the love and the stock is soaring.
After the search giant blew away expectations Thursday with its June quarter results, analysts who previously questioned the company's aptitude have fallen in love all over again.
They're cheering the fact that Google is growing revenue faster than at any time in the past three years. About 135 million devices now use the company's Android mobile platform, and 10 million people are trying out the new Google+ social-networking service. Google's shares were up more than 12% Friday to $594.80 in midday trading.
Google's guns are a'blazin', and newly minted chief executive, and co-founder, Larry Page was happy to crow about it, staying on through the entire conference call with analysts Thursday, Barron's reports.
Activist investor Carl Icahn claims the household name could be worth $100 per share. What should investors do?
By Chris Stuart, TheStreet
Never a dull moment with Carl Icahn.
The investor put in an unsolicited bid Friday for Clorox (CLX). At an offer price of $76.50 per share, the proposed deal would equate to just an 11% premium over Thursday's closing price. But Icahn has a different price target for Clorox in mind, one that is substantially higher.
As noted in his letter to Clorox CEO Donald Knauss it is likely that his intention is not to buy out the company, but for a white knight to step in and come up with a higher bid, ultimately making Icahn's 9.4% stake worth a lot more then it was worth a few days ago. Icahn encourages Clorox to "hold an open and friendly 'go-shop' sale process where all the synergistic buyers are offered due diligence and invited to bid."
American Superconductor gets hammered. Silvio Berlusconi blames speculators for the implosion of Italian banks. Deutsche Bank hires Janet Jackson at $17,700 a minute.
By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet
5. American not-so-Superconductor
Shares of American Superconductor (AMSC), which makes electrical systems for wind farms, fell 5% this past Monday and another 5% on Tuesday. The stock is down nearly 40% since mid-April and more than 70% year-to-date.
The media empire's CEO will answer questions about accusations of phone hacking. The CEO of the company's UK newspaper unit resigns.
By TheStreet Staff
News Corp. (NWSA) CEO Rupert Murdoch, whose British newspapers have been battling accusations of phone hacking for the past week, will appear before members of the British Parliament next week to answer questions about the scandal, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Earlier on Friday, Rebekah Brooks resigned as CEO of News International, News Corp.'s U.K. newspaper unit. She will be replaced by Tom Mockridge, the CEO of News Corp.'s Sky Italia operations. Brooks and James Murdoch, who heads international operations for the giant media group, will also testify before the parliamentary committee, according to the Journal, which News Corp. owns.
James Murdoch said Friday that the newspaper group will apologize to Britain for the phone hacking. The company also plans to set up an independent committee to investigate claims of improper conduct. While News Corp.'s stock has dropped 11% during the past week, its shares were up 0.9% at $15.57 Friday.
The easiest way to invest in this country is also the riskiest.
By Tim Hanson
It's undoubtedly painful to have been an investor in any of the Chinese-listed companies that have been alleged to be or exposed as frauds over the past year. That's a feeling that's been shared by individual investors as well as by revered professionals such as John Paulson (Sino-Forest), Hank Greenberg (China MediaExpress), and Lee Ainslie (Longtop Financial).
We've shared in that pain at Motley Fool Global Gains as well, with two of our China picks, Yongye International (YONG) and China Green Agriculture (CGA), having had serious questions raised about them at one time or another. We believe our research of these companies has addressed these questions, but it is also true that our once-significant gains in these stocks have been largely erased.
A better way?
It's in the face of those losses that many Fools have asked me why we bother investing in individual Chinese companies at all. Even if China's economy continues to grow, wouldn't it be easier and safer just to buy an exchange-traded fund such as the China 25 Index (FXI) and remove some of the company-specific risks that have recently crushed so many investors?
These funds provide exposure to companies the Oracle has shown interest in.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Given his legendary knack for picking winners, it's no wonder market professionals and do-it-yourself retail investors tend to keep a close watch on Warren Buffett to see what new companies he has his eyes on.
Buffett's acquisition preferences have received particularly heavy focus throughout 2011 in light of his massive cash reserves as well as his words and actions.
In his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) shareholders, Buffett used his recognizable folksy charm in an attempt to portray his desire to find acquisition targets. In the document, he said he and partner Charlie Munger have their elephant gun reloaded and are prepared and eager to pull the trigger when an attractive opportunity presents itself.
Proven technical measures show that it's a high-risk time to buy these market leaders.
Check out the tech sector's best cheap investments, which have aggressive upside potential.
By Louis Navellier, Editor, Blue Chip Growth
There is no better place to find explosive growth than with low-priced penny stocks. I'm not talking about pink-sheet stocks that are potentially nonexistent, or fraudulent names set to crash. I’m talking about real companies with real earnings -- companies listed for more than one year on a major exchange like the AMEX, NYSE or Nasdaq that have a market cap in the ballpark of $100 million.
The returns can be even more powerful when you combine the power of technology stocks and penny stocks. Specifically, the software space is seeing lots of action thanks to the mass acceptance of smart phones and personal computing devices.
These devices are quite powerful, but they still need programs to make them run. The best software companies are those that make users more productive. In this tough economy, those companies that help workers do more with less are poised to be the penny stocks that really move higher.
Like the trusted brands of Clorox or the natural resources of Petrohawk, there are assets in this country worth far more to bigger companies than they are in the stock market.
While Washington burns, the corporate world isn't fiddling -- it's taking action, with companies taking advantage of depressed pricing, unusual valuations and unique properties to do some buying.
This morning's ridiculously lowball bid for Clorox (CLX) by Carl Icahn is an example of what's about to happen in this country. I have little doubt that now that Clorox is in play, a company like Unilever (UN) will easily spend $12 billion or $13 billion to snap it up. You could see this one go to $100 a share once it is in play -- wildly overvalued on depressed earnings, but incredibly cheap as an asset play with great brands.
The stock's been lower than it should be because management overpaid for Burt's Bees and has undermanaged its core brands. It lacks scale. But it will be perfect for a Unilever counter to Procter & Gamble (PG), which once owned Clorox but was forced to divest it by an aggressive FTC in the 1960s.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Range-bound action continues with the S&P 500 attempting to build on the outperformance of energy, financials, and industrials as the three sectors hover just above their flat lines. However, the continued weakness of health care (-0.5%) and technology (-0.5%) has kept the market from following in the footsteps of the outperforming sectors.
Interestingly, small-caps have displayed some relative strength as the Russell 2000 hovers near its best level of the session ... More
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