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The market is full of fretters -- how have they performed over the last year?
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
We fret too much. We fret about whether Apple's (AAPL) iPad is going to sell. We fret about every Treasury auction. We fret about Fed statements and discount rate moves. We fret about commercial real estate. We fret about housing. We fret about the weakness of the consumer. We fret about the impact of health care. We fret about the Chinese bubble. And we fret about earnings and earnings and earnings. We fret about unemployment.
Hey, it's good to fret. I used to fret all the time at my hedge fund. You aren't being critical and rigorous enough if you aren't fretting. It is a little ridiculous to believe that everything is going to work out just right.
However, action taken based on fretting has been, since the bottom, just plain wrong. Look at those insurers yesterday. They were all supposed to be dead meat.
Three iron ore companies score big in Asia, and that could cause problems in Europe and other parts of the world.
Ah, if it were only iron ore.
Like it or not, European steelmakers will have to fall in line. (The United States is a special case because it is the only major steel-making country that also exports all the ingredients needed to make steel: Iron ore, coking coal, and scrap.)
That price increase for iron ore will increase steel prices by a third, say the world's steelmakers. And that will then turn into higher prices for everything from cars to washing machines to construction machinery to construction.
Hyundai grabs some iPad attention by announcing it will include the device with every Equus purchase.
It's a great move on the part of Hyundai, which said the iPad would be pre-loaded with a digital version of the car's owner's manual. At a starting price of $500, the iPad would be about one-one hundredth of the Equus' price tag.
Will it help Hyundai sell more cars? Absolutely. By taking a little piece of the iPad hype as its own, Hyundai calls attention to its upcoming release. It also helps pitch the Equus as a true luxury car, one that is so decadent you could keep an iPad in the glove compartment (not that anyone would, but whatever).
Deckers Outdoor has been soaring. But with Ugg boots making up 87% of sales, could changing consumer tastes wipe out shares?
Outdoor clothing and footwear manufacturer Deckers Outdoor (DECK) has been a standout among beleaguered retail stocks. Shares are up nearly 250% since the March 2009 lows with no sign of slowing down.
The secret to Deckers’ success are trendy and durable Ugg brand boots that account for 87% of the company’s revenue -- and consequently, the company’s rapidly growing bottom line. But is this over-reliance on a footwear fad risky for the company? The 2007 collapse of Crocs (CROX) showed all too well that when it comes to cashing in on fashion, tastes change overnight.
So are Uggs the new Crocs? And if they are, is that such a bad thing?
Service returns after message boards fill with queries about a "500 internal server error" popping up on videos.
By Andrea Tse, TheStreet
Google's (GOOG) YouTube.com suffered an apparent service outage Monday morning. Message boards across the Internet filled with queries about a "500 internal server error" message that had been popping up on YouTube.com.
"I was on YouTube and it was working fine, but then this comes up instead of the video '500 Internal Server Error' ... What should I do? I know there's not a problem with my Internet connection and any other Web site works fine," one user wrote on a Yahoo! (YHOO) message board.
YouTube.com reportedly returned to normal in the early morning hours Monday. Users said they had been were getting error messages on every video on YouTube. They speculated that hackers, technical glitches or viruses might have been the cause.
Despite recent gains, Capital Federal Financial, United Bankshares and New York Community Bancorp remain good long-term plays.
By Philip van Doorn, TheStreet
We highlighted three bank stocks in November that offered strong dividends and stable performance. Despite recent gains among bank stocks, these companies remain good long-term plays.
Capital Federal Financial (CFFN), United Bankshares (UBSI) and New York Community Bancorp (NYB) have climbed at least 14% this year, outperforming the 11% advance of the S&P 500 Financial Sector Index.
Bank stocks have doubled the performance of the broader market this year as companies such as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase return to growth. These smaller rivals offer better-than-average credit quality and steady earnings.
The company opens another 'incubator' store to test alcohol sales, gourmet cheeses and other concepts.
After introducing mainstream America to the cappuccino -- and then expanding so quickly and recklessly that quality suffered -- Starbucks is thinking seriously about a makeover. So seriously, in fact, that the company has opened two stores to test out some new concepts.
At the top of the list? Serving alcohol -- an idea that is quite normal at cafes in Italy, where Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz shaped his vision for the company.
The online auctioneer is hoping fixed priced selling will boost sales and profits.
The new strategy moves the company further away from its roots of rummage and garage sales held on the Internet.
Will eBay enthusiasts embrace the new model? More importantly for investors, will the strategy boost sales and earnings at the company?
Traditionally, eBay made its money by charging fees to its 90 million active buyers and sellers. Ironically, its huge success has made the company vulnerable.
The charts say we're ready to roll with jobs growth and with a Congress that is no longer negative.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Never, ever has it taken me this long to read the charts that come hand-delivered to my house every Saturday morning. And it is not just because I just came back from a whirlwind tour of Israel, Jordan and Egypt.
It's because when I go over the charts I am always looking for juicy ones, ones that tell a story, that signal where the action is, where the money's going to.
I dog-ear the pages and mark 'em like I am back in law school, no -- better than that cause I got a cushy job in year two so I didn't have to dog-ear much in the third year.
The market has had a meteoric rise over the past 13 months, but some of the world's top investors are still finding opportunities.
With stocks now close to 75% off their March 2009 lows, opportunities to make hay aren't what they were a year ago. But smart investors can still find value in the market -- that's what Morningstar's domestic fund manager of the decade indicated this week.
Bruce Berkowitz, whose Fairholme fund is in the top 1% of funds in its class over the past 3, 5, and 10 years, said he's finding opportunities in some of the firms hit hardest by the financial crisis. In an interview with Barron's, Berkowitz said financial companies are getting over the bad debt hump, and that AIG and Citigroup are among the picks he likes. Financials are "through the worst of it with their loans, which they have been writing off at a furious pace," he said. "And the loans that they’ve been making since around the end of 2008 have been quite good.”
Another top strategist high on financials is David Ellison. Ellison, a Peter Lynch disciple who manages two financial-focused funds, avoided much of the sector's meltdown in 2008 by retreating to cash before the worst of the crisis hit. He then turned bullish shortly before the March '09 low, and he continues to have about 90% to 95% of his funds in equities, according to Morningstar. Ellison told Financial Planning magazine this week that he's keying on stable, deposit-taking franchises.
The economy is adding jobs, and they're going to private company positions.
The one disappointment in Friday's jobs number was actually good news. In March, the U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs, according to the Department of Labor.
The number would have been even higher, except that the government hired only 48,000 temporary census workers. That was less than economists had expected and explains most of the difference between the 162,000 actual jobs added and the consensus among economists surveyed by Bloomberg of 184,000 jobs.
The shortfall in census hiring is actually good news. It means that the March increase in jobs isn't merely a reflection of government hiring. Government hiring for census work is only a temporary boost to the employment numbers. The big bulge in census hiring will be over by June, and the government will start shedding jobs at that point.
Even in a recession, these are the best-selling independent restaurants in the country.
What makes Tao Restaurant and Nightclub in Las Vegas so popular? The beautiful people, the loud music, the $34 Chilean sea bass?
Whatever it is, Tao has hit the jackpot, once again topping the list of highest-grossing independent restaurants in the U.S. Tao retained its top ranking even though its food-and-beverage sales dropped 13% last year, according to Restaurants & Institutions magazine, which compiles the annual list.
The average dinner check at Tao was $70 last year, and overall the restaurant brought in just over $59 million in sales. That was enough to easily beat the sentimental favorite on the list, Tavern on the Green in New York City, which came in second.
Get ready for an e-book war as Apple positions the iPad as a Kindle killer.
But don't rule out Amazon (AMZN) yet. The company has a few weapons in its arsenal to counter any threat from the iPad.
The Kindle will first benefit from good timing. Or, in Apple's case, bad timing. See, the iPad will not ship with the book-reading software Apple has developed, reports The Wall Street Journal. It wasn't ready in time.
This is no longer a jobless recovery. Spending at restaurants likely to rise.
Last week investors received great news in the form of a very strong employment report. In March, the economy added the most jobs in three years.
Already fueling a solid economic recovery, the consumer will rejoice in these numbers. Spending is likely to gradually rise as a result.
Where do consumers like to spend hard earned dollars?
Look past the headlines and evaluate the market with data
Value Line Index -- Contains 1700 stocks so it's much broader than the S&P 500 or the very narrow Dow 30 -- Positive price momentum
- Up 3 days out of 4 for a net gain of 1.16% last week
- If the Index were a stock it would have an over all 88% Barchart buy rating, hitting buy signals on 11 of 13 technical indicators
- Hit new highs in 12 of the last 20 trading session and 3 for 5 recently
- 30 day price appreciation of 6.91%
- Tracking above its 20, 50 and 100 day moving averages
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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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