The Dow has run up to -- and been turned away from -- 16,000 twice before.
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By allowing David Sokol to frame the Lubrizol discussion, Warren Buffett tacitly endorsed his actions.
Sometimes you just get had. Warren Buffett and the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) shareholders got had by David Sokol. That's how you have had to look at this whole sordid episode with the audit committee report that came out Wednesday cinching that judgment.
The report is a refreshing break from the "ah, shucks" folksy nonsense that this issue was dealt with by Buffett and by Sokol the first time around. In fact, this report basically makes me feel like Buffett and Sokol both dissembled on the issue when it first broke.
Buffett allowed Sokol to delete the most crucial line in the alleged "come clean" release about this issue, which is that Sokol was leaving because his conduct on the matter ensured he would never get the top job. When Sokol prevailed in getting that line removed from the release, Buffett tacitly endorsed what Sokol did. It was the only admonition.
Now we know that Buffett and everyone else, apparently, were appalled by what happened, or the audit committee wouldn't be talking about suing Sokol for what he did. In other words, Sokol didn't leave to go make his second fortune with his family; he left because he was pushed. That's a totally different story.
Cummins raises its 2011 guidance and projected earnings. So what does this mean for the stock?
The coffee shop ranks behind McDonald's and Subway in terms of US sales. Updated with earnings numbers.
Starbucks (SBUX) might have started as a coffee shop, but it now counts as a chain restaurant -- and it's become the third-largest in the U.S.
When measured by sales dollars,McDonald's (MCD) tops the chart, and Subway comes in second. Starbucks is No. 3, according to a study by research firm Technomic. Not bad for a company that closed thousands of stores and went through its own mini-crisis in the economic recession.
Starbucks' rise is certainly bad for Burger King and Wendy's (WEN), which used to round out the top three behind Mickey D's.
Still, all is not well at Starbucks today. The company's share price dropped nearly 2% in after-hours trading after it disappointed analysts with its profit forecast for 2011. Before today, shares had zoomed 30% in the last year to $37.18.
Taking advantage of the chip revolution with the biggest and the and best.
By Jordan DiPietro
Today I'll be adding shares of Applied Materials (AMAT) to my Motley Fool real-money portfolio. The world's largest supplier of semiconductor manufacturing equipment has been around since 1967 and easily has the largest offering of semi equipment and services in the industry.
Applied Materials is on the manufacturing end of the semiconductor industry. While other companies will create complex designs for their chips, Applied designs the fabrication tools needed physically create the chips themselves. The process is extremely complicated -- requiring dozens of various steps -- and this company has a rich history and unparalleled expertise that allows it to deliver an unmatched product portfolio to fabrication operations.
What are the catalysts?
While Applied Materials might be the 800-pound gorilla on the block, it still faces extreme competition
With biotech rallying, investors who really want some bang for their buck should consider 3 smaller but riskier stocks. All have strong charts and low prices.
While Android presents a near-term threat to Apple, Google's attractive and powerful Chrome operating system could eventually wipe out much of the computing industry as we know it.
By Anton Wahlman, TheStreet
No, I'm not talking about Android.
I'm talking about Chrome OS.
While much of the world is embroiled in economic uncertainty, funds that expose investors to Chile, Canada, Sweden and Thailand hold potential growth.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
It's been a trying period for internationally-minded investors in 2011.
With political turmoil sweeping through the Middle East and Northern Africa, debt issues gripping the European Union and Japan still struggling to recover after its devastating earthquake, finding investing solace outside the U.S. borders requires a careful eye and plenty of patience.
Although at this time the options appear slim, there are nations out there that have exhibited strength. By using ETFs, investors can keep these countries on the radar.
People across the country are worried and financially exhausted, and while many have no idea what the Fed chief does, they trust him more than either political party.
Will we get the precise, certain-but-dry professor-of-economics Bernanke, the one we often see in front of Capitol Hill panels? Will we get the impenetrable game-playing Fed chief, the one who wants to cross swords and match wits with the world's hedge funds that are desperate for the next basis point to plunder on their clients' behalf?
Or will we get the one I am hoping for, the Ben Bernanke who came on "60 Minutes" more than two years ago, the plain-spoken son of hard-working people who knows that something is very wrong in the country, who will try to give us context and will be as avuncular as one can be in trying to explain how we could feel so worried and financially exhausted as a nation.
Remember, it is just a press conference; he will be answering questions as foils. He will have to fit his answers to those confines and still make them relevant to the masses.
Expensive beef prompts creative cooking from the fast-food giant, which is experimenting with less-expensive meats.
With rising beef and dairy prices prompting McDonalds Corp. (MCD) to raise menu prices on Big Macs and other offerings, the world's largest fast-food chain is trying to find tasty alternatives for frugal shoppers.
The latest creation is Chicken McBites, a fried snack that is being billed as crispier than conventional chicken nuggets. The so-called popcorn chicken has been rolled out in Detroit, comes with a variety of dipping sauces and starts at just $1.99.
But will consumers eat them up, or will they see it as a way for McDonald's to cut out meat to beef up margins?
Despite all the turmoil in the auto industry following the Japanese earthquake, Johnson is still keeping it together.
After saying goodbye to comedian Gilbert Gottfried, Aflac selects a sales manager from Minnesota to voice its mascot.
After ousting comedian Gilbert Gottfried from the job, the insurance company has picked Daniel McKeague, a 36-year-old television advertising sales manager and father of three from Hugo, Minn., The Associated Press reports.
McKeague was one of 12,500 contestants who sent Aflac voice samples. He had the luxury of recording his 30-second clip at KQRS, the Minneapolis station where he works. He uploaded it to Aflac's website and later did a formal audition.
When is a massive earnings beat "bad news?"
By Rich Smith
Under Armour (UA) reported first-quarter earnings this morning, and the crowd went mild. As of this writing, the shares are already down 8% -- and falling. Clearly, the company must have reported bad news, right?
Nope. All the numbers that investors usually watch at Under Armour were right on target:
- Revenues for the fiscal first quarter leapt 36% in comparison to last year's Q1
- Profit margins expanded, too, with the result that earnings per share increased 64% to $0.23
- Better still, management promised more of the same going forward, upping revenue guidance and earnings alike, and predicting low-to-mid 30s growth in 2011
Upcoming earnings from Potash of Saskatchewan could be the next critical driver of price action in fertilizer stocks. Here are key levels to watch in three sector leaders.
While shares of General Motors look attractive near their post-IPO low, Ford is even more compelling. With video.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
The case was made last week to consider GM (GM) at its new post-IPO low. Even more compelling is Ford (F), the only U.S. automaker that didn't require a government bailout to survive the Great Recession.
Under the laudable leadership of Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally, Ford has refocused on fuel-efficient vehicles, streamlined its operations and fortified its balance sheet. Its stock has surged from a 2009 low of $1.58.
Ford beat Wall Street expectations when it reported first-quarter earnings Tuesday morning. The automaker said new products, higher volume and strong pricing produced profits in every region, including Europe, and said it overcame the impact of higher commodity prices.
The social network is getting into the couponing game, which could squash startup darling Groupon.
By Tom Taulli, InvestorPlace.com
While the tech world has always been fast and furious, it seems that the pace of change has been accelerating lately. Just consider that five years ago Facebook was a small operator. Now the company measures its impact as a percentage of the world's population.
But the challenge for Facebook is to turn its massive platform into gushing revenue and high margins. After all, the company's market value is about $80 billion, and an IPO is likely next year. In other words, Facebook needs to find ways to justify the extreme expectations.
So it's no surprise that it's jumping into the daily-deal business with the launch of Facebook Deals. But will the effort be the cash cow Facebook hopes? If so, will it severely damage the prospects of current coupon king Groupon?
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The stock fell Wednesday with the news that the company missed on both earnings and revenue in its most recent quarter.
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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: -2.10. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: flat. U.S. equity futures trade modestly lower amid cautious overseas action. The S&P 500 futures hover roughly two points below fair value.
Reviewing overnight developments:
- Asian markets ended lower. China's Shanghai Composite -0.1%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng -0.5%, and Japan's Nikkei -1.1%.
- In regional economic data:
- Japan's weekly foreign bonds buying report ... More
- In regional economic data:
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