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Hiring an employee costs more than before. One business owner gives the details.
Fleischer's company makes sound systems in New Jersey and doesn't pay enormous salaries. In fact, the median employee in terms of base pay makes $59,000 a year (which, after deductions and taxes, comes to $44,000 a year.)
Fleischer says his company ultimately pays about $74,000 in order to give that employee $59,000 a year. The difference goes to pay for medical and dental coverage, unemployment coverage, workers' comp and various insurance costs.
Will the company's latest rental program make a dent in its deep debt?
For anyone looking to test-drive the new "Madden 11" or this summer's hit "Red Dead Redemption," Blockbuster (BLOKA) has a new game rental-by-mail program. For the same monthly rate, Blockbuster subscribers can now have video games mailed directly to their homes.
Blockbuster adopted its mail-delivery DVD system in 2004 after competitor Netflix (NFLX) took the market by storm. Similar to the Netflix model, Blockbuster's allows subscribers to order a certain number of movies at a time, depending on their plan. Blockbuster subscriptions start at $8.99 a month.
Blockbuster will now also allow customers to order video games, a service that Netflix does not provide.
A good hiding spot can be tough to find, but shares in utilities and food and drugs still provide some shelter from a stormy market.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Defense is tough to find, and not just because the secretary of defense is cutting back on spending!
I am talking about how hard it is to be sure you are hiding in the right places if you think the Fed is saying "Look, rates are going to be low forever because business is going to be bad forever."
For some investors, that means stocks like Consolidated Edison(ED) and Exelon(EXC). You know I am totally on board with that. These are big, safe plays that are levered to industrial production -- that's who uses a huge percentage of the energy these utilities generate -- and so you see the earnings, whether from DTE Energy (DTE) or Con Ed or Exelon. And though they have run, I can't countenance selling them just because Ben has told you that rates aren't going up, and you don't make jack on short-term money.
Netflix is clearly gambling that the future is digital.
After Tuesday's agreement, Showtime and HBO should start looking over their shoulder, because make no mistake, Netflix is playing on their turf.
Under the agreement, Netflix subscribers will get to stream box-office hits such as "The Last Airbender" and "Iron Man 2" 90 days after their premium pay TV and subscription deals.
The fast-food chain looks abroad as US sales falter.
The restaurant company announced today that it plans on opening 180 restaurants in Russia within the next 10 years. Both Arby’s and Wendy’s locations will begin popping up all over the country, officials announced.
The move marks the fourth international play by the fast-food company, as it opened 100 restaurants in Turkey in June. Last year, WEN announced the creation of 80 burger joints in the Middle East/Africa, along with 35 in Singapore.
CEO Roland Smith cited Russia’s long-term expansion potential as the key decision for the move.
Coal is gaining market share at utilities, which will help producers like Peabody Energy.
If China is the story in coal -- and I think it is, since China is now the No. 1 energy consumer and uses about three times as much coal as the U.S. does -- then Peabody Energy (BTU) is the story among coal companies.
In reporting its second-quarter earnings, the company said it expects global net coal imports to grow by 30% in 2010.
China is the driver of demand.
But the country isn't alone. India's coal imports are up 22% in 2010, and Peabody estimates that imports will finish the year up 20% from the total for 2009.
Temperatures have been on the rise worldwide, creating revenue opportunities for utilities and beverage makers.
The heat wave hasn't just affected the U.S. So far this year, temperatures worldwide are the highest since we began measuring them 130 years ago, the Financial Times reports.
So who sees a revenue spike when things heat up? The most obvious companies are the utilities. Over the past month power consumption in the U.S. is up 10% from a year ago, the FT reports.
Here are 5 reasons the former top automaker's days are numbered.
After the U.S. government bailed out Chrysler and GM in early 2009, many people were afraid it was the end of Detroit as the auto capital of the world.
But a year and a half later, GM is making big strides -- a leaner fleet with fewer brands and a lot of hype behind its innovative Volt electric car are connecting with consumers. GM made a first-quarter profit of $865 million and is expected to post a second-quarter profit Thursday, which is boosting prospects for an IPO in the coming months.
Chrysler, on the other hand, has failed to stop the bleeding. In its latest earnings report, Chrysler posted a deep quarterly loss of $127 million and continues to suffer from a large debt load. To top it off, the company is way behind the rest of the auto industry when it comes to cost-conscious, fuel-efficient automobiles that connect with the current market.
With rival Redbox on the offensive, Netflix announces a deal with Epix to offer more streaming content.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Netflix (NFLX) announced a deal today that will broaden its library of streaming movies. The news comes as the movie rental retailer struggles to maintain its superior footing.
Netflix will begin streaming their movies to customers on Sept. 1.
As consumers traded cappuccinos for K-Cups during the recession, Green Mountain experienced meteoric expansion.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) was the small-cap stock pick of the Great Recession.
It has returned 63%, annualized, since 2007, outperforming stock market indexes by a wide margin. Meteoric expansion powered the shares. During the past three years, when the economy contracted, Green Mountain increased sales 56% a year, on average, and net income 74% a year.
A recession-tuned strategy endeared the Waterbury, Vt., company to Wall Street in 2008, and it has continued to surprise analysts and investors during the recovery with its aggressive growth.
While investors shook off Friday's dismal employment numbers, a surprise trade surplus from China threatens to rattle the market.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Can the Retail HLDRs Trust (RTH), the retail ETF, hold on against the pending onslaught I see coming?
We got a Chinese trade surplus surprise last night that makes the yuan likely to appreciate again. That was the precipitant -- the big, bad event -- that drove RTH down to levels from which it only recently recovered.
It particularly affected the apparel makers -- Ralph Lauren (RL), Jones (JNY), VF Corp (VFC) and Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) -- because the "smart money" decided that China is the only place these companies import from.
Wall Street ponders the next step for monetary policy.
All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve today as members of the Open Market Committee conclude their interest rate policy meeting.
While most Wall Street economists don't expect any radical steps to be taken, a consensus opinion is beginning to emerge: With job growth anemic, the Fed is likely to embark and a second, smaller round of quantitative easing, or QE. This would involve the Fed's reinvesting the proceeds from its existing QE-related purchases, which would keep the money supply from shrinking and ensure that long-term interest rates stay low.
The first stage, you'll remember, started back in March 2009 and resulted in the Fed's buying up $1.4 trillion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage securities. This funneled extra cash into the capital markets and helped stabilize the economy.
Would create 'two' internets, one public and one that would charge extra for higher-priority services, which could include better-quality movie downloads
Google and Verizon on Monday formally announced a joint agreement on handling internet content that would severely impact net neutrality.
As reported on TheWrap last week, the agreement could lead to movie studios being charged extra if they want to deliver high-quality downloads of films over the web.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg made the announcement in a call with the media. They suggested the plan would ensure freedom of choice for consumers but also let internet service providers attract the investment needed to expand and improve the speed of internet connections.
With attendance and TV ratings down, Nascar looks for ways to bring back fans.
While attendance is down at most sporting events, Nascar has suffered more than other sports leagues, The New York Times reports. Even its television ratings are down, which has also killed lucrative sponsorships.
The Times asks a question the entire sport is likely grappling with: Will Nascar ever return to its cash-fueled glory days, when it could paper entire racetracks with $100 bills?
Luxury retailer Coach plans to open 30 new locations in China in the next year.
Growth in North America is back, the company announced in a fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report released before the New York Stock Exchange opened Tuesday.
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All hail the bull market, which ended the week with a big rally. But it also is starting to look a little like 1987, which suffered an epic blow-out.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 ended this week with a bang, roaring to a new all-time high on the back of stronger-than-expected economic data, influential leadership, and an ongoing appreciation for the Fed's monetary policy support.
The bullish bias was evident in premarket action as the S&P futures pointed to a higher start without the benefit of any definitive news catalyst. Stocks indeed benefited from a blast of buying interest at the opening bell on this ... More
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