Why stocks are in for a rough ride this week
Stocks in for a rough ride this week

Longtime market bull Jeremy Siegel says investors could realize the market is behind the curve on interest rates.

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Yes, he's a blowhard. But he sells quite a few items for Macy's, and so far, he hasn't crossed the foul line into dealbreaking territory.

By Kim Peterson Nov 14, 2012 6:10PM
Credit: Donna Ward/Getty Images
Caption: Donald Trump leaves 'The Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on October 25, 2012While angry Republicans are pushing to secede from the United States after the election, angry Democrats are pressuring Macy's (M) to separate from Donald Trump.

The hot-headed billionaire has a line of shirts, ties, suits and even his own fragrance at Macy's. A constant critic of President Obama, he called last week's election "a total sham and a travesty" and a "great and disgusting injustice."

Those comments helped spur some 500,000 people to sign an online petition requesting that Macy's dump Trump. The petition, Bloomberg reports, was started by Angelo Carusone, who mounted a "StopBeck" campaign that he said resulted in anchor Glenn Beck leaving Fox News. 
Tags: MT

The Dow fell 185 points as the autumn swoon continues. Partly, the slide was due to worries that President Obama and Congress can't cut a deal to fix the fiscal cliff. But other factors were at play.

By Charley Blaine Nov 14, 2012 6:09PM
Why, you ask, is the stock market slumping?

Good question on a day when the Dow Jones industrials ($INDU) suffered its third loss of more than 100 points in the last six sessions, and the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) has fallen more than 10% since mid-September, the popular definition of a correction.

The answer is more complicated than simply the fiscal cliff or Barack Obama's reelection, although the former was clearly at play today. President Obama insisted at a news conference he would not agree to extend Bush-era tax rates on the wealthy. Republicans says they won't agree to boosting top tax rates, and the question is which side will blink first. 

The Japanese carmaker's Kentucky-built Avalon is just part of its larger U.S. production strategy.

By Jason Notte Nov 14, 2012 5:48PM

Image: Car tire (Sarah M Golonka/Brand X/Getty Images)It's been whacked by recalls, an earthquake and a tsunami, but Toyota (TM) is starting to think like the dominant automaker it once was.


Toyota sales are up 30% year-to-date from 2011, with car sales increasing almost 39% in that time. Bill Fay, who was named general manager of the Toyota division of Toyota's U.S. operations back in July, seems to think that increased stateside design and construction may be the key to not only Toyota's recent success, but its future in the U.S. market. He points to the revamped 2013 Toyota Avalon as an example of what the company can do when it designs cars specifically for Americans.


"Back in the '80s, all Toyota vehicles shipped to America were designed, engineered and built in Japan with little or no U.S. input," Fay told the Detroit Free Press.

 
Tags: FgmTM

Spam texts and political statements have turned up the heat on the pizzamaker and its CEO.

By Jason Notte Nov 14, 2012 5:40PM

Credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Caption: An employee shapes dough for a pizza base at a Papa John's International Inc. pizza restaurantIn the last week, Papa John's (PZZA) was socked with a $250 million lawsuit for jamming mobile phones with spam and faced heat for saying that it may have to cut employee hours to avoid the looming Obamacare health care mandate.


Meanwhile, the pizza maker has renewed a multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with the NFL, given away 2 million free pizzas just to acknowledge the start of the NFL season and hosted Republican candidate Mitt Romney at CEO John Schnatter's 40,000-square-foot Kentucky mansion.


Amid these mixed signals is one very clear question: Does Papa John's or its CEO care about its brand at all? The answer since election season kind of sounds like "no," especially when issues affect Schnatter's estimated $600 million fortune.

 
Tags: DPZPZZA

Sorry, Bud. A pilot program at Chipotle restaurants in Chicago may be a sign of changing consumer tastes.

By Bruce Kennedy Nov 14, 2012 4:30PM

Image: Woman looks out at camera -- Flash Parker, Flickr, Getty ImagesMore signs that American culinary tastes are changing, or perhaps becoming more diverse: 15 Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) restaurants in Chicago have begun to sell locally-made "craft beers" on a trial basis, the Chicago Tribune reports.


Earlier this year, the pasta restaurant chain Noodles & Co. announced a similar policy, offering its customers craft beers and upscale wines.


American craft brews are a big growth business. The Brewers Association reports dollar sales for the country's small and independent craft brewers were up 14% in the first half of 2012, while the volume of craft brewed beer sold rose 12% in that same time period. Oh, and the number of total breweries in the U.S. is currently at a 125-year high.

 
Tags: BUDCMGTAP

Japanese soda drinkers are getting a taste of a new Pepsi that purports to rid the body of fat. But don't look for this intestinal calamity-in-a-bottle in the US anytime soon.

By Jason Notte Nov 14, 2012 4:07PM

Credit: Suntory Holdings Limited
Caption: Pepsi SpecialHow do you drink a sugary soda without immediately processing it into love-handle cellulite or a winter layer of thigh fat? By pushing it out of your system as soon as possible, of course.


Japan got the first crack at this concept Tuesday when Pepsi (PEP) distributor Suntory debuted Pepsi Special, a "fat-blocking" soda laden with "indigestible dextrin." Let the "indigestible" portion of that description linger for a few minutes, because that's about all the time drinkers are going to have with it.


That's just straight-up fiber, and it's going to do what dietary fiber does to human beings. It's not going to block fat: It's going to serve as fat's burly bouncer and throw it out of your system in the quickest fashion possible. It'll fill you up, but -- not to get too scatological -- it'll do the toughest part of its job by emptying you out. Consider it best enjoyed with some free time and expendable reading material.

 
Tags: PEP

Even though fewer people have pets, owners are still willing to spend plenty on them. PetSmart's earnings Wednesday prove this trend continues.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 14, 2012 3:11PM
Shares of PetSmart (PETM), the largest pet supplies retailer, have gained more than 150% over the past five years, outperforming larger big-box chains such as Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Macy's (M). This proves that even during tough economic times, people will continue to lavish attention on their pets. 

The trend of humans spoiling their pets is evident in PetSmart's earnings reports this afternoon. Not only did the retailer post better-than-expected results, but it also raised its earnings guidance for the year.
Shares of the Phoenix, Ariz., company are surging in after-hours trading as investors bet that pet owners will not only buy their furry friends holiday presents but wrap them too.
 

Changes in state pot laws are encouraging some cannabis-related companies to go public.

By Bruce Kennedy Nov 14, 2012 3:02PM

Image: Marijuana (Halfdark/fStop/Getty Images)These are heady times for supporters of legalized marijuana as well as those looking to cash in on pot's growing national acceptance. This month, voters in Washington state and Colorado agreed to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults. And medical marijuana is currently legal in 18 states and Washington D.C.


Of course, marijuana remains illegal by federal law. But people involved in what some are calling the "green rush" are still looking at business and investment opportunities in cannabis and its production.


And as with nearly all markets, some people are willing to take the risk.

 

The fast-food king faces increasingly fierce competition and a soft global economy, but its stock is still worth a buy.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 14, 2012 2:39PM
A sign outside the fast-food chain McDonald'sWait until next year.

I think that's the message in McDonald's (MCD) disappointing Nov. 8 report of same-store sales numbers. Sales at stores open for at least 13 months fell 1.8% in October. That was the first monthly decline in same-store sales in nine years for McDonald's. 

Even taking into account a calendar shift that put one less Saturday in October this year than in 2012, the drop sent a significant signal. Competitors have upped their game while a soft economy in the United States, China, and Europe has resulted in cutthroat price competition. Finally, McDonald's recent success in taking market share has resulted in very tough month-to-month growth comparisons for McDonald's.

These three factors suggest that investors will have to wait until April or May of 2013 to see a sustained upwards move in McDonald's shares.
 

The Motor Trend honor doesn't always mean increased car sales.

By InvestorPlace Nov 14, 2012 2:35PM
Need for Speed copyright Mark Evans, The Agency Collection, Getty ImagesBy Jim Woods

iplogoLate Monday night, I received a phone call from a jubilant friend who was ecstatic over, of all things, an automotive magazine's recent announcement.


"Guess what?" he rhetorically shouted in my ear, "The car in my garage is now Motor Trend's Car of the Year!"


You see, my friend recently took delivery of a Tesla Motors (TSLA) Model S sedan, the all-electric luxury sports sedan that is the brainchild of the company's genius CEO, Elon Musk. My friend was quick to point out that my vehicle of choice -- the newly designed Porsche 911 -- failed to beat out the Model S for the prestigious designation by the leading automotive industry magazine.

 

Stocks are lower as trading remains sluggish since the end of the US elections.

By MSN Money Partner Nov 14, 2012 2:11PM
Image, Dice on stock listings copyright Kate Kunz, CorbislogoInformation provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Cisco (CSCO) reported stronger-than-expected first quarter results and generally in-line second quarter earnings guidance, sparking an upgrade at Pacific Crest and a 6% rally in its shares.

Among the notable market gainers Wednesday was Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), which surged over 27% after its better-than-expected quarterly results and full-year guidance prompted at least four upgrades of its stock. 

Also higher were shares of Facebook (FB), up 9% in spite of a massive IPO lock-up expiration that allowed employees and early investors in the company to sell their shares. 
 

Just because they are fierce competitors doesn't mean these two big-box retailers are the same kind of investments. Should investors own both?

By TheStreet Staff Nov 14, 2012 1:31PM

thestreet logoWal-Mart store in Secaucus, New Jersey, Jin Lee, Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Marc Courtenay


As the stock market drifts sideways, many wonder if the "fiscal cliff" or the looming tax threat will motivate more selling. Smart investors are preparing for a rally and are watching to see if the S&P 500 ($INX) can move back above 1,400.

 

This is an exciting week, filled with market-moving data and some really big, large-cap companies stepping into the earnings confessional. Two retailers that report on Thursday, Nov. 15, are as different as their market-cap sizes.

 

Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT) are indeed competitors, but they are distinctly unique.

 

The bailed-out insurer plans to invest directly in mortgages and real estate as it searches for yield.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 14, 2012 1:10PM

thestreet logo Miniature home on sheet of percent signs copyright Comstock, Getty ImagesBy Shanthi Bharatwaj

 

Bailed out insurance giant AIG (AIG) has spent the last four years shedding its risky, non-core businesses and returning to its roots as an insurance company.

 

Now with a complete government exit in sight, the company is ready to spread its wings once more. And it's looking to expand in the very area that led to its unprecedented bailout in 2008: mortgages.

 

According to a Reuters report, the insurer plans to go beyond merely insuring home loans.

 

Obamacare may not be as good for insurance companies as some people seem to think.

By Stock Traders Daily Nov 14, 2012 12:43PM

Doctor sitting in office with patient talking and smiling copyright Paul Bradbury, OJO Images, Getty ImagesBy Barry S. Cohen, Stock Traders Daily

 

Now that President Obama has been reelected, the 2010 Affordable Care Act is here to stay. And the biggest change to the U.S. health care system since the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 may signal tougher sledding for health care insurers.

 

That could be bad news for the largest U.S. medical insurer, UnitedHealth (UNH), as well as other big industry players Aetna (AET), Wellpoint (WLP), Cigna (CI) and Humana (HUM). 


These companies could be facing profit limits and new taxes to cover some of the cost of expanding health care coverage to as many as 30 million uninsured people starting in 2014. So how do investors trade these stocks? 

 

Home Depot is downgraded to 'market perform,' and Potash is downgraded to 'hold.'

By MSN Money Partner Nov 14, 2012 12:32PM
fly logoInformation provided by Theflyonthewall.com

Wednesday's noteworthy upgrades include:
  • Cisco (CSCO) upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest
  • ICF International (ICFI) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust
  • Oasis Petroleum (OAS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust
  • Weatherford (WFT) upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies
  • Royal Caribbean (RCL) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus
 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Thursday session on a higher note with the S&P 500 climbing 0.5%. The benchmark index registered an early high within the first 90 minutes and inched to a new session best during the final hour of the action.

Equities rallied out of the gate with the financial sector (+1.1%) providing noteworthy support for the second day in a row. The growth-oriented sector extended its September gain to 1.9% versus a more modest uptick of 0.4% for the ... More


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