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The drive-in restaurant brings back carhops on wheels, but is it a personal-injury lawsuit waiting to happen?
Carhops on roller skates are one of those quaint throwbacks rarely seen outside of grainy '60s-era movies. Men in fedoras would pull up in a car with giant fins and order a phosphate soda from a bouncy blonde on eight wheels and think nothing of it.
Well if you’ve got a hankering for nostalgia -- or just enjoy some entertainment while you eat -- you’re in for a treat. Fast-food chain Sonic (SONC) recently announced plans to revive carhops on roller skates at its drive-in restaurants across the U.S.
The real question for shareholders, of course, is whether the move will cause customers will roll in at Sonic’s 3,500 chain restaurants . . . or just result in sprained ankles and worker's comp claims.
New deal with the European Monetary Union gives Greece breathing room, but problems await.
It's hard to see how the European finance ministers' deal with Greece, announced Sunday, fixes the crisis. Postpones the day of reckoning, sure.
News that members of the European Monetary Union have agreed to provide up to $41 billion in loans to Greece over the next year will almost certainly allow the country to refinance the $40 billion or so in debt that comes due in 2010. And at a lower 5% rate of interest than the 7.45% the market was demanding on two-year Greek bonds last week.
But provide Greece with a long-term path to solvency? No.
A Redbox survey hints that the company may be exploring online streaming.
If Redbox, owned by Coinstar (CSTR) is considering getting into the movie-streaming business, the two companies could become fierce rivals.
The question is how seriously is Redbox mulling this move, and how much money does it want to sink into it? The company reportedly sent a survey to customers asking how interested they would be in a movie-streaming service for $3.95 a month.
A lot of the stock action this year has been in small caps, but let's not forget the big dogs.
But news that these consumer staple companies are ramping up advertising spending tells me they expect some solid growth.
These giants understand advertising very well and what will happen when ad spending increases.
The facts show that the economy is out of recession. But many people feel things are getting worse.
The numbers are there, plain as day. They show an economy on the mend, a country returning to its former glory, an America that is once again beautiful.
So why doesn't it feel that way?
This is "the comeback country," Newsweek crows. "America is coming back stronger, better, and faster than nearly anyone expected -- and faster than most of its international rivals," writes Daniel Gross.
Key factor: Increased offer is all cash
The Weinstein Co. appears to have moved into prime position to acquire Miramax from the Walt Disney Co. after a weekend meeting at Disney chief Bob Iger’s home, where the independent distributor upped its bid to all cash, TheWrap has learned.
TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein and a representative for his billionaire backer, Ron Burkle, met over the weekend at Iger’s home in Brentwood, Calif., to try to seal the deal, according to two knowledgeable individuals.
Analyst upgrades Best Buy's rating, says the retailer would gain from buying RadioShack.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
FBR Capital Markets raised the electronics retailer to “market perform” from “underperform.” Analyst Stephen Chick said such an acquisition would benefit Best Buy, comparing it to the company's 50% ownership of UK-based Carphone Warehouse.
While a deal would be boost earnings, there are risks to merging two rival companies, Chick wrote in a note. "We would like to let the dust settle here in order to better assess the risk/reward of Best Buy."
Dollar choices are part of a strategy to win back cost-conscious consumers. But advertising and planned remodels will be expensive.
The restaurant is adding more lower-priced items to its menu including a small roast beef sandwich, curly fries and a Jamocha shake -- and operator Wendy’s/Arby’s Group (WEN) is backing them with an expensive new advertising campaign.
It’s part of a big push by the higher priced fast-food joint to woo back cost-conscious customers who fled the pricier restaurant for cheaper rivals during the recession.
The problems in Europe have highlighted the opportunities still out there in our country.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
If you watch "Mad Money," you know that almost nightly I make fun of the obsession with Greece and the Grecian formula for budget deficits. I keep trying to get peoples' attentions on the amazing earnings and takeovers -- a huge number -- and the turn in the US economy.
I am wrong. I have been wrong.
I am beginning to think that Greece Gone Wild is good for the U.S. stock market. That's right, I wrote it: GOOD! Before you dismiss this view out of hand, remember that the whole time this Grecian farce has been going on, the U.S. stock market has rallied. That's what got me thinking about this. Maybe the people who obsess about it -- particularly the media -- should be thinking, "What is the real impact on the United States?" and now, "What is the impact on Europe and the United States?"
Forget about the reasons for the market increase, let's just look at the facts.
Value Line Index -- Contains 1700 stocks so it's much broader than the S&P 500 or the much narrower Dow 30
- Index was up by 2.49% this week -- That make 3 weeks in a row and better yet 3 months in a row
- The Index closed on Friday above its 20, 50 and 100 day moving averages
- Index is up 5.60% in the last 30 days
Barchart's 13 technical indicators all signal a buy for a 100% technical buy rating
The stock market rally has been fast and furious. But based on historical norms, it shouldn't be all that surprising.
As the market has continued to rally, one of the big bearish arguments has been that stocks have come too far, too fast. But have they?
Not according to Barry Ritholtz, who called both the '08 crash and the '09 recovery. In fact, Ritholtz says this rally is in line with typical secular bear market recoveries. Historically, the median secular bear has lasted about 29 months, and involved a 56% drop — just about what we hit in the recent bear, though much more quickly, he tells Forbes.com. Then, on average, a 70% rebound has followed over the next 17 months.
“Since we fell much quicker than that, it’s not a surprise that we have bounced 60%, 65% in just 12 months,” Ritholtz says. He thinks a decent sized correction could be "a quarter or three" away, but as long as interest rates stay low, he says it's unwise to short stocks.
Ritholtz isn't the only top strategist seeing more room for the market to run.
The current price cuts are part of an effort to lure back consumers whose tastes are getting pricier once more.
The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), will cut prices on as many as 10,000 food and general merchandise items in an effort to reverse its slowing U.S. sales growth. The new pricing has already begun in the company's 3,700 U.S. stores.
Wal-Mart was generally believed to be the company that benefited most from the economic downturn, attracting new customers from a suddenly less-wealthy middle class. The recovering economy has boosted sales at most other retailers. Direct WMT competitors Target (TGT) and Costco (COST) both reported a 10% jump in same-store sales in March.
Wal-Mart no longer issues monthly sales figures, but it's no secret that U.S. sales are slowing down and part of the reason is that those recently won-over middle-class customers are returning to their previous favorites.
Cyclical stock Navios Maritime Partners boasts a 9.1% yield, and its general partner makes a big buy.
With the global economy in solid recovery mode -- for example, the U.S. economy will grow at 2.4% in the first quarter of 2010, and 2.3% in the second quarter (not great, but a long way from recession), according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -- I think it's time to reach a little further for yield. (For more on where we are in the economic cycle, see this recent post.)
But it looks like we're now in the flow part of the cycle.
Apple is gunning for Adobe's Flash, and that's got to be making the company nervous.
But that seems to be what's happening with Adobe Systems (ADBE), which is certainly feeling the heat of Apple's (AAPL) wrath. Things are now so bad, in fact, that Adobe had to warn investors about it in a regulatory filing.
"To the extent new releases of operating systems or other third-party products, platforms or devices, such as the Apple iPhone or iPad, make it more difficult for our products to perform, and our customers are persuaded to use alternative technologies, our business could be harmed," Adobe said Friday in the filing.
Translation? Apple is gunning for us. And it's scary.
Interest rates are headed up, adding more pressure to a sector that is just starting to recover.
And that took its toll on homebuilder stocks, which had been on a roll in the last few months. The S&P 500 Homebuilder group broke below its 50-day moving average, the Bespoke Investment Group reported. You can see the ups and downs of the week on the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB).
The rising mortgage rates could crater the fragile recovery that we're just starting to see in the housing market.
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In the never-ending contest for sales, American carmakers are pulling ahead.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended modestly lower with the S&P 500 shedding 0.3%.
The benchmark average saw an opening loss of 1.2% after Japan's Nikkei tumbled 7.3%. Japanese stocks sold off amid continued volatility in Japanese Government Bond futures as the 10-yr yield spiked almost 16 basis points to 1.002 before the Bank of Japan's JPY2 trillion liquidity injection caused yields to retrace their gains.
Adding insult to injury was news out of China where the HSBC ... More
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