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Tiffany and Neiman Marcus have seen robust sales, but Blue Nile struggles with unique problems.

By Jonathan Berr Nov 25, 2011 2:30PM
Image: Wedding ring (© Jamie Grill/Photolibrary/Photolibrary)In these tough economic times, high-end retailers have counted on jewelry sales to bolster their bottom lines. That trend shows little sign of slowing.

Neiman Marcus and Tiffany (TIF), names synonymous with luxury, have benefited from robust jewelry sales. Earlier this month, Neiman noted that fiscal first quarter sales gained 8.2% (8% on a comparable basis) thanks in part to sales of jewelry.  

The government agrees to allow foreign companies to own up to 51% of supermarkets, saying the move will create jobs and spur investment.

By Kim Peterson Nov 25, 2011 12:53PM
Image: India (© Donald Edwards/age fotostock)Wal-Mart (WMT) and other global retailers have long wanted a shot at India and its $500 billion retail market. Now, they may get their chance.

The Indian government this week voted to allow foreign companies to own up to a 51% stake in supermarkets. Experts said this could open the way for Wal-Mart, Britain's Tesco (TESO) and France's Carrefour (CRRFY) to begin expanding throughout the populous continent. 
Tags: WMT

Most Asian carriers still don't carry the iPhone.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Nov 25, 2011 12:21PM

Image: Businessman in China (© Brooklyn Production/Corbis)By Evan Niu (TMFNewCow)

 

With as much growth and popularity that Apple's (AAPL) iPhone has seen, would you believe that there's still incredible room for even more upside in the years to come?

 

As Apple's most important business segment and biggest cash cow -- 43.4% of revenue last year -- all eyes are on where iPhone fever will spread next. Recent analysis from Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty shows there's still plenty of money on the table.

 
Tags: AAPLT

Partisanship aside, here's a historical look at market returns under Democratic and Republican administrations. The data might surprise you.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 25, 2011 11:35AM
Image: Politics (© Jim Zook/Images.com/Corbis)By Sy Harding, Street Smart Report

The lead-up to next year's election will bring a lot of claims from both parties, so here's a look at the record over 50 and 100 years to see which party in the White House is historically better for stocks.

It's common knowledge that the Republican Party is better for business, corporate profits and the stock market, isn't it? Democrats are more interested in pushing social programs at the expense of business, right? 

The legendary investor recently visited Japan, sparking rumors that he might see buying opportunities there.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 25, 2011 11:34AM

Image: Japan (© Stockbyte/SuperStock)By Don DionTheStreet


"Our elephant gun has been reloaded, and my trigger finger is itchy."
-- Warren Buffett, 2011 Berkshire Hathaway letter to shareholders

 

With names like Lubrizol and Wesco Financial now decorating the Berkshire Hathaway trophy room, it has clearly been an active year for Warren Buffett in terms of acquisitions. The billionaire has indicated, however, that it is not quite time to hang up the elephant gun.

 

This offshore driller has an aggressive global growth strategy and offers an 8.7% yield.

By TheStockAdvisors Nov 25, 2011 11:23AM
Image: Oil drilling platform (© Scott Gibson/Corbis)By Amy Calistri, The Daily Paycheck

SeaDrill (SDRL) is the second-largest offshore driller, with the second-largest ultra-deepwater fleet.

It operates the world over with 46 rigs, and it's clients include most of the oil and gas exploration heavyweights like Exxon Mobil (XOM), ConocoPhillips (COP), the Norwegian company Statoil (STO) and Argentina's Petrobras (PZE). 
Tags: oilSDRL

The growth outlook unravels as the world's largest economies stumble. And that could be pulling stocks down at a time when investors are hoping for a Santa Claus rally.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Nov 23, 2011 4:10PM

There's so much bad news going around, it's hard to know where to start.

 

Here at home, the deficit-cutting supercommittee failed to deliver, raising the specter of another credit rating downgrade and the expiration of popular short-term stimulus items like payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits.


The failure also illustrated the fact that the country is increasingly ungovernable at a time when we need swift, thoughtful policy actions.

 

The food company concentrates its business in developed markets that haven't seen a strong recovery.

By Trefis Nov 23, 2011 4:01PM
Image: Groceries (© Tetra Images/Corbis)H.J. Heinz (HNZ) had a challenging second quarter, facing pressure on both top and bottom lines.

Revenue increased just 1% in the quarter, with 80% coming from developed markets that have seen a weak recovery. Sales volume saw a 3% decline, with particularly dismal results from Australia and ongoing weak traffic trends in the U.S.

Compounding the headwinds, gross margin for the quarter worsened by 180 basis points, weighed down by commodity inflation, which outpaced pricing and productivity gains. 

The country is projected to see increasing birth rates through 2016 -- and Mead Johnson Nutrition stands to gain from that rise.

By Jim J. Jubak Nov 23, 2011 3:45PM
Image: China (© Brand X/SuperStock)Next year is the year of the dragon -- the icon of China’s emperors, symbolizing power and wealth.

Families in China see children born in a dragon year as especially fortunate, and these years historically produce a mini baby boom with about 5% more births. Add that to the echo from China’s own baby boom and the loosening of government restrictions on family size, and China is projected to see increasing birth rates that peak around 2016.

That’s led to a stock market boost in shares of companies likely to tap into the baby bump.
 
Tags: MJN

The cost of turkeys has escalated this year, and some stores are deeply discounting the bird to attract shoppers.

By Kim Peterson Nov 23, 2011 3:25PM
Turkeys have not come cheap this year as U.S. farmers have passed steep grain prices on to customers. The traditional Thanksgiving dinner will cost about 13% more this year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

To keep budget-minded customers from getting sticker shock, some grocery chains are deeply discounting the birds. That's created a "turkey war" between stores fighting for every last consumer dollar. 

Passing on Transatlantic and buying into IBM signals a change in investment strategy.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 23, 2011 3:16PM

By Antoine GaraTheStreet


Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) rarely loses a deal fight, which makes Monday's news that the legendary investor was outbid for reinsurer Transatlantic Holdings (TRH) seem like a strange sight.

 

However, the fact that Berkshire lost out in a hotly contested bid to a competitor a nearly a tenth of its size in Alleghany Corporation (Y) should not be so surprising, given the Omaha, Neb., holding company's move away from its traditional reinsurance and insurance base and its shift to a more diversified portfolio of industrial companies.

 
Tags: ibm

Capital Advisors Growth Fund manager Keith Goddard works to limit losses while maintaining potential for aggressive growth.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 23, 2011 3:10PM

the streetBy Stan Luxenberg

 

All too often, large growth funds have followed a volatile pattern. During bull markets, the growth funds soared as investors bid up prices of fast-moving technology and consumer stocks. Then the rally ended and growth stocks crashed hard as overvalued shares sank.

 

Because of the regular collapses, the large growth category has often trailed large value. From 1928 through 2010, large growth stocks returned 8.8% annually, compared to a figure of 11.1% for large value, according to Ibbotson Associates. In recent years, growth stocks have sunk twice -- after the Internet bubble burst in 2000 and when the financial crisis unfolded in 2008. Hurt by the downturns, large growth funds trailed the S&P 500 ($INX) during the past decade, while large value funds outdid the benchmark.

 

The stock has now dropped below its $20-per-share IPO price.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 23, 2011 2:54PM

Updated: 4:35 p.m. ET

 

By Olivia OranTheStreet


Shares of Groupon (GRPN), which soared 40% two weeks ago during the daily deal site's IPO, continued to crater on Wednesday.

 

The stock fell 15.5% to $16.96. The session low was $16.84. Volume continued to be elevated with more than 5 million shares changing hands by midday. Wednesday's decline follows a 15% drop on Tuesday.

 

The health care products maker is spending $325 million on a private company to bolster its presence in the gastrointestinal diseases therapy space.

By Zacks.com Nov 23, 2011 2:27PM

By: Zacks Equity Research

 

Leading health care products maker Covidien (COV) has cut a deal to buy the outstanding shares of Barrx Medical for $325 million, hoping the move will boost its presence in the gastrointestinal diseases therapy space.

 

Barrx Medical makes ablation catheters and other devices for treating gastrointestinal diseases and Barrett’s esophagus syndrome, a pre-cancerous condition of the lining of the esophagus.

 
Tags: JNJ

The farm machinery maker saw quarterly sales rise 20% from a year earlier to $8.6 billion.

By Zacks.com Nov 23, 2011 2:16PM

Image: Combines in field (© Mark Karrass/Corbis/Corbis)Deere & Co. (DE) outperformed in its fourth quarter, riding a wave of strong demand for farm machinery and increased sales of construction equipment.


The equipment maker delivered earnings of $1.62 per share in the quarter ended Oct. 31, comfortably exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.44. Results were 51% ahead of the $1.07 earned in the year-ago quarter.

 
Tags: CATDE

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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