The assembly line producing the Ford Fiesta car in Cuautitlan Izcalli, Mexico. © Susana Gonzalez/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Mexico will soon be next car capital

Some 80% of the vehicles built south of the border are exported to other countries, mostly to the US.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

Occasionally you can catch bottoms when things are bad, but that doesn't happen until all hope has faded.

By Jim Cramer Aug 14, 2014 12:26PM

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York © Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSometimes sentiment isn't enough to make a turn. Sometimes just betting that everyone else is negative isn't enough. Something positive has to happen, too.


We saw this come into play twice Wednesday, first with King Digital (KING) and then with Deere (DE). Going into King Digital, I was struck by what seemed to be a uniformity of thought that the sentiment toward King was too negative so the company's stock might bounce no matter what. But then it reported, and the numbers for the maker of Candy Crush were awful and the outlook worse. The darned thing is now down about 40 percent from where it went public.


Sentiment doesn't help when your company relies on one franchise that is getting long in the tooth. Go ask the people at Zynga (ZNGA), who brought you Farmville and couldn't get beyond it even with the Words and OMG Pop franchises in tow. How many times could you have said "This selling is way overdone, it just can't be this bad"? But it is.

 

The company is expected to report another loss Thursday afternoon. But analysts are looking for glimmers of hope in the numbers.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 14, 2014 12:00PM
Credit: © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Caption: A customer enters a J.C. Penney store in Daly City, Calif.By Russ Britt, MarketWatch

Did J.C. Penney's (JCP) journey on the comeback trail hit a bump in the road during the second quarter or is it continuing its return to retail prominence?


That's the critical question investors and analysts will be asking up until Penney reports earnings after the close on Thursday. 


The company is expected to report another quarterly loss in adjusted earnings, its 10th straight dating to the first quarter of 2012. But if it can manage to beat projected same-store sales or cut its forecast deficit, Penney could become the darling of more than just a few analysts.


Penney started to regain the trust of a few watchers earlier this year when it reported a first-quarter same-store sales increase of 6.2 percent, far exceeding the 4.1 percent gain that had been projected.

 
Tags: JCP

The flop shows the fickle and sometimes confusing nature of Americans when it comes to more healthful eating.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 14, 2014 11:29AM
Undated handout image from Burger King, showing the new “Satisfries” that the company says has 20 percent fewer calories than its regular fries (© Noel Barnhurst/Burger King/AP Photo)By Julie Jargon, The Wall Street Journal

It turns out consumers weren't too satisfied with Burger King's (BKW) Satisfries.


The fast-food chain on Wednesday said it is dropping from its U.S. menus the lower-calorie French fries (pictured) that it introduced with much fanfare less than a year ago.


The Miami company had been trying to reach consumers who had cut back on French fry orders because of health concerns. The fries, which were made with a less-porous batter that didn't absorb as much oil during frying, were marketed as containing 20 percent fewer calories and 25 percent less fat than Burger King's classic fries, and 30 percent fewer calories and 40 percent less fat than McDonald's (MCD) fries. The smallest portion of Satisfries contained 190 calories.

 
Tags: BKWMCD

Earnings are out, and the world's largest retailer had a disappointing quarter.

By TheStreet.com Staff Aug 14, 2014 11:04AM

Reusable shopping bags are offered for sale at a Walmart Neighborhood Market © Nick Ut/APBy Brian Sozzi, TheStreet


Wal-Mart (WMT) delivered a knockout punch to already bruised investors Thursday in the form of sluggish second-quarter earnings and a full-year earnings warning.


The details of the quarter and outlook should worry even the most long-term investor.TheStreet.com logo


Wal-Mart, which my firm Belus Capital Advisors rates a sell, announced second-quarter earnings of $1.21, in line to Wall Street estimates, and the mid-range of its $1.15 to $1.25 per share guidance.


However, the profit figure could be viewed by the market as disappointing as Wal-Mart issued below-consensus guidance when it reported first-quarter earnings back on May 15. At the time, Wal-Mart's $1.15 to $1.21 per share guidance was below the then consensus forecast of $1.28.

 

Demand for company's network routers and switches continues to decline.

By MSN Money producer Aug 13, 2014 5:53PM

The headquarters of Cisco Systems in San Jose, Calif. © Kristoffer Tripplaar/Alamy

By Peter Burrows, Bloomberg Bloomberg

 

Cisco Systems (CSCO) is cutting 6,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce, as it faces weakness in emerging markets and a slump in demand from telecommunications-service providers.

 

The world's largest networking-equipment maker had about 75,000 staff at the end of July. Including the latest round, Cisco has eliminated more than 18,000 employees over the past three years.

 

John Chambers, who is nearing retirement after almost two decades as Cisco's chief executive officer, has been grappling with slowing growth for its market-leading routers and switches. Phone carriers and other large companies are replacing legacy network hardware with software that performs many of the same tasks.

 
Tags: $INXCSCO

Consumers are shunning the spud in a race away from carbohydrates and toward greater convenience.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 13, 2014 4:56PM
Credit: © Fotosearch/Getty Images

Caption: Potato farmingBy Andrea Gallo, The Wall Street Journal

The potato has had a great run for most of the past five centuries. But these days, the humble spud has fallen on hard times.


A darling of American dinner tables since before the nation's founding, potatoes have lost favor in the U.S. for the past two decades. 


Consumers have shunned the starchy side dish in a race away from carbohydrates and toward greater convenience, two factors driving broad changes in how Americans eat.


Total annual consumption of all types of potatoes has fallen by nearly 25 percent since peaking in 1996, to 52 pounds a person in 2012, the last year for which the U.S. Department of Agriculture has data. 

 
Tags: BKWMCD

The retailer is set to announce its quarter Thursday morning. Can it overcome a long slide in US sales?

By Benzinga Aug 13, 2014 3:33PM
Credit: © Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Caption: Grocery items sit inside a cart at a Wal-Mart store in Alexandria, Va.By Jayson Derrick, Benzinga

Investors will be keeping a close eye on Wal-Mart's (WMT) quarterly earnings Thursday morning, searching for signs of the company's progress in a shaky economic recovery.

Life hasn't been easy for the nation's largest retailer this year. Same-store sales at U.S. locations have slid for five straight quarters, leading analysts at UBS (UBS) in June to remove Wal-Mart from their "Most Preferred List." On July 29, analysts at Goldman Sachs (GS) downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy."


Government data showed in June that food stamp usage has fallen from its 2012 peak. It is unclear how this data set will play out for Wal-Mart in the coming quarters, considering the chain has captured an estimated 18 percent of the SNAP (food stamps program) market.


Also adding to Wal-Mart's woes during the quarter is the fact that its former U.S. president, Bill Simon, said that the country's hiring rebound is not translating to a rise in customer spending at its stores. Simon added that the economy is "not getting any better or worse" for its core customers.

 

It's not a laundry or dry-cleaning gadget. Instead, the $500 device is meant to delay laundering or dry cleaning.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 13, 2014 2:29PM
Credit: Courtesy of Swash via Facebook, www.facebook.com/SwashOfficial

Caption: SWASH™, the in-home 10‑minute clothing care systemBy Elizabeth Holmes, The Wall Street Journal

Procter & Gamble (PG) is betting shoppers will spend nearly $500 and find a spot in their homes for a machine more than 4 feet tall, all in the name of avoiding laundering or dry cleaning their favorite blouses and slacks.

Swash is a new release from the consumer-products giant, maker of Tide and Febreze, in partnership with Whirlpool (WHR). The tall and thin device, which is large enough to hold one men's extra-large suit jacket, uses gel-filled pods to help neutralize odors, remove wrinkles and restore a garment's fit.


It isn't meant to replace laundering or dry cleaning, the companies say, just delay them. That convenience comes with a hefty price tag: $499 for the machine, plus $6.99 for a 12-pack of pods, each good for one use only. The machine is sold at Bloomingdale's and will be available next month at other retailers.

 
Tags: PG

The signals are there, but investors don't yet seem ready for a dose of reality.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 13, 2014 2:08PM
Caption: New York, Wall Street, bronze statue of charging bull
Credit: © xPACIFICA/Getty ImagesBy Michael Sincere, MarketWatch

All bull markets end eventually, either with a whimper or a bang, although no one can say when. 


The good news is that if you are observant, a number of clues announce the end is near.


One of the reasons I've become cautious about this five-year bull market is I'm seeing warning signals, including the following four:


1. Rallies fizzle quickly

Many investors got excited when the market rallied 185 points last Friday. But if you looked deeper, you'd understand the spike wasn't as strong as it seemed.

 
Tags: VIX

Some market watchers believe the softness could be signaling something more sinister.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 13, 2014 12:57PM
Credit: © Matthew Brown/AP Photo
Caption: a pump jack pulls crude oil from the Bakken region of the Northern Plains near Bainville, Mont.By Matt Clinch, CNBC

The price of Brent crude slipped to a 13-month low on Wednesday, pushed lower by reports of oversupply in the markets. 


However, some market watchers believe that this softness could be signaling something more sinister in the global economy, with a risk that the weakness could spread to other assets.


"At the end of the day it's all about demand," Michael Hewson, the chief market analyst at brokerage firm CMC Markets told CNBC via telephone. The oil price is simply a leading indicator for demand across the globe, according to Hewson, who predicts the price has more downside risk than upside, barring any unexpected geopolitical event.


He agrees that current global growth forecasts may be too optimistic and depressed demand in Europe and China, along with the anticipated normalization of interest rates in the U.S. and the U.K., could be about to bring investors back down to earth.

 

The networking company surprised Wall Street with stellar numbers in its last earnings report. Investors will be watching for more of the same Wednesday.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 13, 2014 12:29PM
The Cisco logo is seen at the NCTA Cable Show in Washington, DC, on June 11, 2013 (© Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images)By Benjamin Pimentel, MarketWatch

Cisco Systems (CSCO) will report fiscal fourth-quarter results after the market closes on Wednesday, after surprising Wall Street in May with an upbeat results and outlook.

Investors will look for signs that would confirm Cisco's strong performance the previous quarter is a sign that the tech powerhouse is on the comeback trail.


Here's what investors can expect:


Earnings

Cisco is expected to post profit of 53 cents a share, compared with a profit of a 52 cents a share for the year-earlier period, according to a survey of analysts conducted by FactSet.

 
Tags: CSCO

King Digital's second-quarter revenue came in below expectations, but things appear even worse for the game company beyond the headline number.

By TheStreet.com Staff Aug 13, 2014 12:25PM

King Digital Media's initial public offering at the New York Stock Exchange, March 26, 2014 © Justin Lane/EPABy Antoine Gara, TheStreet


King Digital Entertainment’s (KING) revenue and bookings dropped in the second quarter and the company sharply cut its full-year guidance amid falling activity for its popular Candy Crush Saga game. Behind King Digital’s earnings miss, which caused shares to tumble to post-IPO lows in premarket trading on Wednesday, things appear even worse for the company.


King Digital's monetization of its suite of free mobile and online games appears to have plateaued, with only a limited number of users willing to pay for its games. Since the company generates the bulk of its revenue from a small number of paying users -- called monthly unique paying users, or MUPs -- monetization trends are crucial to the company’s earnings.

 

Is the critical documentary 'Blackfish' to blame for falling sales?

By MSN Money Partner Aug 13, 2014 12:17PM
 Believe show in Shamu Stadium at the SeaWorld Orlando theme park in Orlando, Fla.By CNBC.com staff

Shares in SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) plunged Wednesday after the theme park operator reported lower revenue and slashed its sales outlook for the year.


SeaWorld shares closed down nearly 33 percent Wednesday to $18.90.


SeaWorld said attendance for the quarter rose 0.3 percent, but revenue fell slightly. Adjusted earnings also dipped slightly.


The company said it now expects 2014 revenue to fall 6 to 7 percent. Its previous guidance had assumed a slight increase in revenue, according to a Dow Jones report.

 
Tags: SEAS

Stocks have bounced all over the place this month. Investors should take a conservative approach and focus on specific areas of underperformance.

By InvestorPlace Aug 13, 2014 12:00PM

Credit: © Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Caption: A trader points to a stock chart on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly before the closing bell in New York July 2, 2014By Anthony Mirhaydari


Stocks have stabilized over the last few days as fears over a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve have faded -- thanks to a slowdown in the economic dataflow. The focus has instead turned back to the simmering geopolitical hotspots in Iraq and Ukraine.


The buyers came back in, though, thanks to an apparent de-escalation by Moscow on Friday, as it ended a military drill on the Ukrainian border. On Tuesday, the sellers are out in force once more, reversing Monday's gains in a broad market selloff. Then stocks took a turn up on Wednesday.


The market has been bouncing up and down all month. The question is: What's next?

 
Tags: COPHYG

The Russian president's ban on US chicken imports is resulting in a feast of lower grocery bills for American shoppers.

By Jim Cramer Aug 13, 2014 11:02AM

Russia's President Vladimir Putin © Metzel Mikhail/ITAR-TASS/CorbisGrrr! Why does all news have to be presented so negatively? Last week, Vladimir Putin may have done the most positive thing he could for American consumers' wallets: He banned U.S. chicken imports. Immediately, the outpourings were negative. The Washington Post pointed out that the ban is "also starting to negatively affect a number of U.S. food industries," particularly chicken. We send $300 million in chickens to Russia every year. The chicken industry? Is that the real ramification for something that is eaten by tens of millions of people in this country? The pain in the chicken farmer's budget?


This Putin-hurts-chicken-farmers story is a classic example of how a huge positive gets turned by the press into something dastardly. Do you know that ever since Putin put this through, the price of all of our foodstuffs have been in virtual freefall? Do you know that hog futures, which had been soaring not that long ago, are now tumbling the maximum amount allowed and are back to where they were on March 18? Do you know that the stubbornly high price of cattle is now crashing as a new Putin-inspired chicken glut has made poultry too competitive? Two weeks ago, we thought cattle could only go up in price. No more.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the Thursday session on an upbeat note with blue chips showing relative strength for the second consecutive day. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.4%) and S&P 500 (+0.3%) settled ahead of the Russell 2000 (+0.2%) and the Nasdaq Composite (+0.1%). It is worth mentioning the benchmark index posted its fourth consecutive gain, registering a new record closing high at 1992.38.

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