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Do your homework before investing in the highly popular Berkshire Hathaway B shares.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Since the 50-for-1 split on Jan. 20, Berkshire Hathaway’s B Shares (BRK.B) has been on an upward trajectory as investors pile into the firm in hopes of gaining access to the mind of the savviest investor around.
From the day of the split to Feb. 3, the company’s B shares have jumped more than 6%, while the S&P has dipped more than 3%. Class A Berkshire shares have gained throughout the period, jumping 7%.
Having recently emerged from bankruptcy, the maker of auto parts is poised to capitalize.
Much has been written about Toyota’s big recall and the damage it will do to the company. The big winner as a result of this debacle is projected to be Ford, but there will be other winners, too.
A supposed brake problem may trigger the next domino to fall for Toyota.
Here's a look at how Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has dealt with the challenges he faced when his tenure began.
By Lauren Tara LaCapra, TheStreet
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was appointed to office with three goals: repair banks, fix housing, and stimulate private investment.
While Geithner has come under sharp criticism recently for his role in the American International Group (AIG) counterparty scandal, it's worth taking a look at what he's achieved in a remarkably short period.
Geithner unveiled a wide-ranging reform proposal just 15 days after he was sworn in on Jan. 26, 2009. Here's a look at how these initiatives have fared during Geithner's first year in office:
Chief executive James Keyes plans to save the video-rental chain by focusing on digital initiatives and kiosk expansion.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Competition from Netflix (NFLX) and Coinstar's (CSTR) Redbox has intensified, forcing Blockbuster to rethink its strategy. The company said it lost $183 million to $193 million in fiscal 2009 and plans to close 20% of its stores by 2011.
TheStreet spoke with Keyes, who took the reins at Blockbuster in 2007, to see how he plans to revive the company and fend off bankruptcy.
A third publisher calls for a new pricing model -- one that removes any advantage Amazon had.
Hachette Group is joining in the push to allow publishers to set their own prices for e-books and give sellers a 30% commission. Amazon previously took a 50% commission and chose its own e-book price -- usually in the $9.99 range.
What changed? Apple (AAPL) got into the game with its plans to sell e-books on its upcoming iPad device. Apple proposed the 30% deal to publishers, and said it would allow publishers to set their own prices.
And poof -- Amazon's hold on publishers as the dominant e-book seller began to unravel.
The company's president apologizes for the global recalls of other models and annouces quality-control efforts.
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet
Toyota (TM) president Akio Toyoda apologized Friday for the global recalls at the automaker and said he will lead a committee to focus on quality control.
Toyoda (pictured) said the company is still deciding what to do about fixing brake problems in the popular Prius hybrid, The Associated Press reports.
It was reported earlier that Toyota intended to alert U.S. and Japanese governments about plans to recall 270,000 Prius hybrids, but the world's No. 1 automaker said no decision has been made.
What's the better bet? The paper of Spain or the paper of UPS, which just raised its dividend?
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
The companies are stronger than the countries. Plain and simple. I will take the common stock of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) or Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) over the paper of Greece or Portugal any day of the week. Which is really the problem. Who needs the headache of the stuff?
Not only that, but a lot of our dividends are going higher after the companies turned out to be doing better than expected. The dividend boosts are running hot and heavy. The paper of Spain or the paper of United Parcel Service (UPS), which boosted its dividend Thursday? Is there really an issue?
I am a big believer in contagion when the contagion can affect demand, but as Doug Kass spells out this morning using some pretty smart data from Mike O'Rourke, we are dealing with small countries and small markets. In the 1996-1997 fiascos, our issues involved Russia, which had just raised a gigantic amount of capital, and Asia, which was taking in a huge amount of tech.
Credit bears push government debt risk to levels not seen since last April.
Despite steady improvements in corporate earnings and ongoing signs of strength in the global economy, credit markets continue to worry about rising government debt levels and troubles in weak European nations like Greece and Spain.
Yesterday Greece reached an agreement with the European Union on reducing its huge budget deficit. Deep cuts to public employee wages and possible pension cuts were part of the deal. But the credit bears weren't satisfied, and instead of covering their bets started attacking the credit of other high-deficit counties like Spain and Portugal. They also renewed their attacks on Greece after the country's largest public employees union announced a strike to protest planned wage cuts.
As a result, investors are selling sovereign bonds, buying up credit protection, and abandoning risky positions in favor of the safety of the U.S. dollar. The dollar's rise is pounding commodities and commodity related stocks. Emerging market stocks are being hit particularly hard since
A reporting 'glitch' could revise previous payroll data dramatically lower -- to the tune of more than 820,000 jobs 'lost.'
Wall Street doesn't take kindly to mistakes. That's because confidence is paramount to the market, and investors need openness and honesty in the numbers to have faith that their money isn't part of a Ponzi scheme or in some Nigerian prince's bank account.
A company that misstates earnings or sales even accidentally is severely punished as doubt eats away at investors like a cancer. So just imagine what it would mean for the market if the broader economic figures we've been given have been calculated with fuzzy math -- and that government statisticians have been off in their numbers as far back as 2008. The word "crash" is just one of many ugly words that come to mind.
This could be the exact scenario we will face Friday with the latest payroll numbers. According to recent reports, such as this great one with interactive graphics from Bloomberg, the Labor Department may revise previous payroll data dramatically lower -- to the tune of more than 820,000 jobs "lost." From April 2008 to March 2009, it appears the labor market was in much worse shape than Uncle Sam admitted at the time.
Yes, the latest unemployment numbers are disappointing. But other economic indicators show a recovery on track.
Take a deep breath, guys.
With all the hyperventilating about Thursday's disappointing initial claims for unemployment numbers, you'd think that everyone has forgotten that unemployment is a lagging indicator.
Unemployment numbers will be one of the last economic indicators to improve. Other economic numbers released today show that the economy is about where it was expected to be at this point in the recovery.
From blaming Americans to being slow to apologize, Toyota is bungling its response in every way. With video update.
The company is now in a full-blown crisis, leading many experts to look at how it got into this mess in the first place. And one message is coming across loud and clear: Toyota has been too arrogant.
"For too long there has been a sort of arrogant air at Toyota," said Jean Jennings of Automobile Magazine (video below). "'We can sell all the cars, our cars are reliable, we can sell every one of them.' They don't need PR, and now they do."
Toyota's poor attitude is evident in the way it's handling this mess.
There is a good reason management is shifting strategy. Should investors stick around?
I told you something was amiss at Target. Management does not change strategy without some serious analysis of data and foresight.
In fact, executives are paid big bucks for getting in front of trouble. With years of experience and education, executives must sift through reams of data in order to properly steer the ship.
That is why it pays to listen to management when they set strategy.
Rapid economic growth doesn't happen in a vacuum, and we're only beginning to see the cost of China's success.
China's red-hot growth in 2009 was great for the global economy, and Chinese stocks helped investors cash in big-time. But now that we've turned the page on 2010, we're learning that annual GDP growth of double-digits doesn't happen on its own.
If you want a raw story of the cost of growth, just read a recent Reuters piece about how 30 million "sexually repressed" migrant workers in China's export hub Guangdong are making a mess of things. Local officials are pleading with the government to assist them in an effort to keep rampant STDs under control and help mend the social fabric of the community.
There are very serious consequences coming to roost in the People's Republic right now -- from fears of real estate and stock bubbles to growing social unrest to the specter of hyperinflation.
Because of problems in Lisbon and Athens, Visa's and Cisco's strong numbers will be questioned.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Just giving you the only view that matters these days, the view that makes 2010 so hard: Europe's a mess and a competitive mess that makes people think our house is more in order than we thought.
You sell the stocks of the house that's in the best order.
Carol Bartz will get a big bonus -- if she can keep the company's share price high enough for the next 20 trading days.
By Jim Woods, InvestorPlace
We've heard a lot about big bonuses recently. Banking execs, brokerage bigwigs and AIG all have taken heat for receiving some serious largess from their respective companies.
The public and government officials have been outraged at these bonuses, especially because many of these institutions had to be saved last year by taxpayers. But is there a better way to pay out big bucks?
According to one Wall Street analyst, Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Carol Bartz could be ready to receive a $10 million bonus of sorts -- but only if she can keep the share price high enough for the next 20 trading days.
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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.
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
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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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