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The online retail juggernaut reassures investors that its Kindle is coping with the threat posed by Apple's iPad.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
In a statement released today, Amazon said the latest versions of the Kindle, launched in late July, are the fastest-selling Kindles ever. The Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk websites have sold more of the new Kindle and Kindle 3G than any other products during the last four weeks, according to the online retail giant.
Amazon's true Kindle performance, however, remains clouded in secrecy. Despite plenty of hype over the last few years, the retailer has not released any actual sales figures for its e-book device, although a company spokeswoman told TheStreet in an e-mail today that Amazon has sold "millions of Kindles overall."
Gmail users will soon be able to make calls from their computers. But the service won't be free forever.
Google (GOOG) is installing the phone booths to introduce people to Google Voice. The company is also making a splash this week by offering free voice calls through Gmail.
For the rest of the year, calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free. Calls to other countries start at 2 cents a minute.
Here's how it works:
While US equities retest their July lows, emerging-market issues are outperforming. Can the good news continue?
To be sure, American stocks have been in the doghouse. The Russell 2000 small-cap index is within a hair of its July and February lows and is trading at levels first reached last September. Over the past few months, there has been absolutely no progress.
Not so with emerging-market stocks. The iShares Emerging Markets (EEM) is up 12.9% from its May low and has outpaced the Russell 2000 by a whopping 16.7%. Widening the scope, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index has outperformed the MSCI Developed World Index by 6.7% year to date and by 10.7% since the May 25 low.
Foreign equities, along with defensive utility names, have been one of the few refuges for stock market investors over the past few months. But can the performance continue? Sakthi Siva, who heads the global emerging-markets team for Credit Suisse, believes they can and gives four important reasons.
The coffee chain is opening more mini-cafes inside supermarkets and other stores. Smart move?
A few years ago, the company's real-estate moves were brazen bordering on reckless. It opened stores within blocks of each other and expanded too quickly in underperforming areas. The economic crisis forced Starbucks to shut down 600 stores in 2008, leaving the battered company to rethink its strategy.
Now, Starbucks has seized upon a new expansion idea, one that removes much of its real-estate risk. Forget the responsibility from a stand-alone location. Why not plant more mini-cafes in Safeway(SWY) and Target (TGT) stores?
Large anchor spots have been losing department stores, and Costco is looking to move in.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
Almost everyone feels a bit overwhelmed when experiencing a Costco (COST) store for the first time. The size, the crush of people, the bizarre variety of items.
And that's just the view from the parking lot.
Well, if Costco has its way, the mob scene taking place at its cavernous stores will soon be on the move -- to the oversized mall spaces known as "anchor" positions, which have long been the turf of big-box retailers and department stores.
The issue isn't foreclosures, gluts or average home prices. It's jobs and the economy.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Thank you, Bob Toll, for once again telling the truth.
The executive chairman of homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL) has been spot on during this housing crisis, being the first to tell you the good and the bad. He basically told you to sell housing stocks a couple of months ago when he didn't like the trends he saw. He is a straight shooter, and sometimes it can be painful.
His comments this morning really say it all for the part of the market that wasn't dominated by the tax credit, which basically gave buyers a free year of interest payments (the average price of a home's mortgage interest in year one is what buyers got with the credit).
McDonald's is now a familiar brand name in China, and used that status to sell bonds there.
Will investors take a leap on so-called century bonds? Some bankers think so.
These ultra-long-term bonds are risky because the investor must believe that the companies issuing them will still exist in 100 years, according to The Wall Street Journal. But they're attractive because companies pay investors a premium for them.
"Such bonds won't pay off their principal until 2110, a date so far that the people doing today's buying and selling will all be dead," writes Katy Burne.
Apple's popular tablets are being tested by half of the companies in the Fortune 100.
Apple (AAPL) is finally getting a toehold in the corporate world, thanks to the iPad.
Companies that have historically resisted Apple products are snapping up iPads, The Wall Street Journal reports. Half of the companies in the Fortune 100 are buying or testing them, and at least 500 iPad applications are specifically for use by businesses.
"Everyone in IT is jumping on this one," an analyst told the Journal. "Rather than wait for people to start complaining, they're saying, 'Why don't we get a few of them in and see what they are good for?'"
The agency says sales of 2 orthopedic products violated federal rules.
By Andrea Tse, TheStreet
The products in question are the TruMatch Personalized Solutions System, a knee replacement device, and the Corail Hip System.
"A review of our records reveals that you have not obtained marketing approval or clearance before you began offering the TruMatch Personalized Solutions System for sale," the FDA said in the letter to J&J. The agency said the Corail Hip System was also being marketed for "unapproved uses."
The chain has the potential to triple in size, but can it maintain its neighborhood-store vibe?
It's sales were about $8 billion last year, Fortune reports, the same amount as Whole Foods (WFMI). But Trader Joe's sells about $1,750 in goods per square foot, which is more than double what "Whole Paycheck" can do.
Trader Joe's has no debt, and it pays for all growth on its own. And it has something other supermarket chains desperately crave: A fierce and loyal fan following.
It's perfectly normal for a TJ's shopper to
A study shows IPOs don't hurt the shares of other companies in the same industry.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
Worried that the General Motors IPO will diminish the value of Ford (F) shares?
Don't be, UBS (UBS) analyst Colin Langan said in a report that looks at the impact on the stock price of a company's No. 1 competitor in the months after an IPO. Historically, competing stocks are not hurt by large IPOs in the sector, Langan wrote.
"We found that on average, during the three and one months preceding an IPO, the main competitor experienced above-market returns," he said. "Our findings are in contrast to investor concerns and highlight that markets are more efficient than some investors anticipate."
Owner Pepsico vows to take the mushy feel out of its breakfast staple and roll out healthful new products.
Pepsi may not be the first company that comes to mind when you think of a healthful breakfast, but the soft drink giant hopes to change that with a makeover of its Quaker division.
Parent company PepsiCo (PEP) will revamp the morning meal offerings from Quaker with revised breakfast options. Reformulated instant oatmeal and two new types of cereal will be at the center of Quaker's new product push and a marketing campaign to capture an evolving consumer market increasingly concerned with eating well.
But this isn’t your mother’s oatmeal. The new instant oatmeal will address what Quaker President Jaya Kumar said is a concern: People report not wanting oatmeal to be "mushy."
Even stocks that have little to do with housing, like those of oil giants and drug companies, feel the impact of real-estate data.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Since when did we become the United States of Housing? Housing has become pretty much the be all and end all of the market outside of employment claims. We literally dread these numbers because the estimates are way too high -- based on what? -- and when the figures come in, they are either horrible or really horrible.
Housing used to be supremely important in this country for Black & Decker (SWK) and Masco (MAS) and for Louisiana-Pacific (LPX), Georgia Pacific, Morgan Products, US Gypsum, U.S. Home and Republic Gypsum. We used to fret about what it would mean to Phelps Dodge and to some of the independent glass companies.
Most of those companies are now gone or have merged. We had some regional homebuilders, and they would have periodic cycles of good and bad. But they were regional, for heaven's sake, and often their regions would be strong when others would be weak.
There's no question that they're loving bonds. But are they really dumping equities?
That's what you might think if you read this New York Times article titled "In striking shift, small investors flee stock market."
But wait. On the same day, the Los Angeles Times published an article called "Still in stocks? You're hardly alone."
So are investors sticking with stocks or not?
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The auto parts giant beats Wall Street expectations, while continuing to expand its stores in the U.S. and Mexico.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks ended modestly higher as the S&P 500 climbed 0.2%, and the Dow added 0.4% to register its 19th consecutive Tuesday of gains.
The major averages saw little change during morning action, but afternoon buying interest helped lift the indices to session highs. Most cyclical sectors (with the exception of materials and technology) finished among the leaders, but the defensively-geared health care sector settled atop the leaderboard as biotechnology outperformed. ... More
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