Surge brought back from the dead
Surge is back from the dead

Coca-Cola launched the soda brand in the 1990s to compete with Mountain Dew. Sales didn't exactly take off.

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The chain sold the one-of-a-kind item for $129, and said its stains and holes were due to discoloration and natural fray.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 1:08 PM
Credit: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters/Buzzfeed

Caption: Screenshot showing Urban Outfitters’ Vintage Kent State SweatshirtBy Lindsey Rupp, Bloomberg News

Kent State University, the site of a shooting in 1970 that killed four students, criticized Urban Outfitters (URBN) for selling a sweatshirt with its college logo and what appears to be splattered blood.


"We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit," the Ohio university said in a statement online. "This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today."


Urban Outfitters, a retail chain with a history of stocking controversial items, sold the one-of-a kind item for $129 on its website as part of an assortment of vintage clothing. 


The company said on Twitter today that there was no blood on the shirt, and the stains and holes were a result of discoloration and "natural wear and fray."

 
Tags: URBN

The company launched the soda brand in the 1990s to compete with Mountain Dew. Sales didn't exactly take off.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 12:56 PM
By Ashley Lutz, Business Insider

Coca-Cola (KO) is bringing back Surge more than a decade after it was discontinued. 

The company will start selling 12-packs of Surge on Amazon (AMZN) today, writes Sapna Maheshwari at Buzzfeed.


Surge was launched in the '90s to compete with Mountain Dew. But the drink failed to sell and was discontinued 12 years ago. 


In a statement, Coca-Cola says that it is launching Surge in a response to an online campaign. 


A Facebook group called "SURGE Movement" has more than 100,000 fans on Facebook. The page was founded by Evan Carr of California in 2012.

 
Tags: KO

Investors who are shelving the stock should consider putting it in their basket instead.

By Jim Cramer Mon 12:30 PM

A customer checks out of a Whole Foods Market in Washington, D.C. © Andrew Councill/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesIs it Whole Foods (WFM) vs. Kroger (KR)? Or is the world big enough for both?


I think the answer is the latter, and while Whole Foods has stumbled of late and Kroger's been red hot, I am beginning to wonder if we aren't nearing the end of the lack of performance from the best natural and organic retailer in the country.


First, a word about Kroger. It was a magnificent performer, once again, last week, talking about accelerating comparable-store sales -- an astounding 4.8 percent when I was looking for slightly more than 4 percent -- and an exciting integration of both Vitacost, an on-line vitamin company, and Harris Teeter, a recently purchased supermarket chain. The former gave the company terrific e-commerce tools and the latter is just the kind of classic expansion that allows for Krogerization of the North Carolina operation. Kroger's still selling at less than a market multiple despite its excellent execution, amazingly strong private label operation and a healthy embrace of natural and organic foods.

 

The tech company's core business should be worth $5 billion, almost none of which is realized in its current price.

By MSN Money Partner Mon 12:20 PM
Yahoo logo on a smartphone (© KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)By J.J. Zhang, MarketWatch

Alibaba Group is about to take the IPO crown when it's expected to debut on Sept 18. It's a long-awaited debut for what is the largest Internet and e-commerce based company in the world.


While relatively unknown in the west, Alibaba has a myriad of operations, and investments, from its Alibaba marketplace (wholesale business-to-business sales and service), Taobao marketplace (think Amazon and eBay combined), Alipay (think PayPal and all mobile payments combined), TMall (think online Best Buy), cloud services (think SalesForce.com), Tudou (think Netflix and Youtube), and many more. 


Basically almost everything you can buy or do on the internet in China, Alibaba has some ownership of it. It has also recently started expanding into a more global company, bringing its services and products to a larger audience.

 
Tags: YHOO

The grocery giant expanded its Simple Truth line nationwide 2 years ago and has seen consistent growth.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 3:24 PM
Kroger logo on a grocery cart (© Brian Christopher/Demotix/Demotix/Corbis)By Justin Bachman, Businessweek

Organic foods have long carried a price premium along with a certain snob appeal or caricature, depending on your view: fancy eats for affluent folks, not the hungry and thrifty masses. 


So much for that stereotype. Organic products sold under Kroger's (KR) store brand are about to top $1 billion in annual sales.


The grocery giant expanded its Simple Truth natural and organic foods line nationwide two years ago and has seen consistent sales growth. The company touts the brand as being "Free From 101" artificial ingredients and preservatives. 


Kroger says it has more than 35,000 products that are organic or natural, with about one-sixth of those added in the past year. (Natural foods are prepared with minimal processing and are not considered organic.)

 
Tags: KRWFM

The delivery company is feeling pressure from the ubiquity of free shipping, fierce competition from other delivery services and Amazon's power to drive down shipping costs.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 3:12 PM
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
UPS truck in New York CityBy Laura Stevens, The Wall Street Journal

When United Parcel Service (UPS) Chief Executive David Abney bought his first book from Amazon (AMZN) about 15 years ago, e-commerce seemed no more complicated than ordering from a catalog. "Pretty basic," he says.


Online sales have mushroomed since then into a huge business for the package-delivery company -- and a big problem.


Because of the ubiquity of free shipping, fierce competition from other delivery services and Amazon's power to drive down shipping costs as it gets even more enormous, UPS' average revenue on each Internet-related package it handles is dropping.

 

Many workers say they're happy right where they are and aren't seeking to climb to the top.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 2:20 PM
Credit: © Ciaran Griffin/Getty Images
Caption: CEO sign on desk, close up, man in backgroundBy Kathryn Dill, Forbes

The American employment landscape is often portrayed as hierarchical, competitive, and geared towards driven achievers always striving for that next rung -- but many employees don't see themselves represented in that picture.


According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, the vast majority of American workers do not, in fact, have their eyes on the top job in their field or organization. 


Just 34 percent of respondents aspire to leadership positions. A paltry 7 percent are working towards the C-suite.


The survey was conducted online by Harris (HRS) Poll for CareerBuilder, and included more than 3,600 full-time workers in private sector and government jobs, across various compensation levels, industries, and companies.

 
Tags: HRS

Newsletter writer Marc Faber is still waiting on a massive market loss. He's keeping a diverse portfolio in the meantime.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 2:03 PM
Image: Bear © DLILLC, CorbisBy Alex Rosenberg, CNBC

Marc Faber famously predicts that U.S. stocks will lose 30 percent of their value -- a prognostication, needless to say, that has not proven particularly prescient over the years. 


Still, the author of the Gloom, Boom & Doom report continues to see bubbles everywhere he looks, especially in U.S. equities.


Given his near-apocalyptic outlook, it's unsurprising that Faber's greatest focus is on avoiding losses. But what's incredible is the degree of portfolio destruction he's willing to tolerate.


"I hope that when the collapse happens, I'm only going to lose 50 percent of my money," Faber said Thursday on CNBC's "Futures Now."


As to the specific makeup of his portfolio, it's all about diversification.

 

The stock is up 18% after the beauty retailer posted healthy increases in sales and raised its full-year outlook.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 1:20 PM
Credit: © ULTA Beauty via www.ulta.com
Caption: An Ulta Beauty storefrontBy Bradley Seth McNew, The Motley Fool

It's all glitter and glam once again for beauty and fragrance retailer Ulta Salon, Cosmetics, & Fragrance (ULTA). 


Following a very successful first quarter, the company posted great second-quarter results, released Thursday evening, as well. 


Compared to competitor Regis (RGS), which has posted poor results in the last two quarters, ULTA seems to be a beautiful company right now.


Here are Ulta's second-quarter highlights:

 
Tags: RGSULTA

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple may have a chicken-and-egg situation on its hands as teens say they'd want the Apple Watch if it was perceived as cool by their peers.

By TheStreet.com Staff Fri 1:16 PM

The Apple Watch is displayed in Cupertino, Calif. © David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBy Jenn Van Grove, TheStreet


What will it take for Apple's (AAPL) newest invention, the Apple Watch, to find its way on to the wrists of today's youngest consumers? Perhaps just a little creative marketing and a whole lot of cool points.


Tuesday, Apple showed off a new category of mobile device it expects to carry the company into the future. A mix of fashion of function, the Apple Watch will retail starting at $349 and offer consumers a variety of smartphone-inspired functions including email, messaging, notifications, maps, photos, activity-tracking sensors, and apps, all in miniature form.


Slated to arrive early next year, the Apple Watch will enter an unproven wearable market (one that's expected to be worth $60 billion by 2018, according to research firm IHS) and will need to do the seemingly impossible: convince consumers, especially young ones, of the value of wearing an expensive smartwatch on their wrists. Though a growing number of people are amenable to wearables like fitness bands, such as those made by Fitbit or Jawbone, just 5 percent of U.S. consumers plan to buy a smartwatch in the next year, according to a study by the Acquity Group. That could change dramatically, however, as 25 percent of consumers plan to own one in the next five years, the study found.

 

The social network is testing a video push that could undercut Google's dominance of the online video ad market.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 1:01 PM
Caption: The 'Facebook' logo is seen on a tablet screen
Credit: © LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty ImagesBy Mike Shields and Reed Albergotti, The Wall Street Journal

In what may be another signal that Facebook (FB) wants to take on YouTube, the company has reached out to some of the Google-owned (GOOG) video site's biggest content producers and encouraged them to test distributing their videos on the social network, say people familiar with the matter.


Already some YouTube content producers, including Walt Disney's (DIS) Maker Studios and Collective Digital Studio, have experimented with putting some of their top YouTube series on Facebook. 


Collective has made available its animated viral hit "The Annoying Orange" on the social network, for example. The videos are being delivered to Facebook users via the social network's news feed and on individual creator's pages.

 

Anything that takes pressure off American budgets is good news for corporate revenue, and 2 of the biggest costs are coming down.

By InvestorPlace Fri 12:36 PM

Image: Groceries © Tetra Images/CorbisBy Dan Burrows


Food and gas take up a large chunk of Americans' disposable income.


Money spent at the grocery store or filling the tank is money not spent on everything else.


Sure, that's fine for oil companies like Exxon Mobil (XOM) and supermarket operators like Kroger (KR), but the market is made up of a lot more than food and gas.


Indeed, since revenue growth isn't doing its part, some market watchers think this bull market is getting ready to expire. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) is hitting record highs thanks to companies' booming profits and margins. Heck, margins are so high, they have no place to go but down.


Revenue growth, however, has been weak. Even after picking up in the second quarter, corporate sales failed to grow faster than earnings. According to data from Thomson Reuters, S&P 500 companies reported an 8.5 percent increase in second-quarter earnings growth but just a 4.6 percent gain in revenue.

 

That level would represent one of the most extraordinary recoveries from a bubble bust in stock market history.

By MSN Money Partner Fri 12:27 PM
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on April 30, 2014 in New York City. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at a new record high Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it would reduce its bond-buying program
© Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesBy Howard Gold, MarketWatch

Until this week, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) seemed to be setting another record every day. It first reached the 2,000 milestone a month ago.


And the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU), which topped 17,000 for the first time in July, has stayed near that all-time high ever since.


Only the Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX), that great bellwether of the 1990s technology and dot.com boom, hasn't surpassed its record high yet.


At its absolute peak in March 2000, the Nasdaq closed near 5,049, capping an amazing decade in which it skyrocketed over 1,300 percent. The Nasdaq, of course, then tumbled, losing 78 percent of its value in one of the worst busts in history.

 

A lot of good stuff is happening on Wall Street because it costs so little to borrow money.

By Jim Cramer Fri 10:44 AM

A businessman pushing down interest rates © Ilya Terentyev/Getty ImagesMaybe it's as simple as enjoying it while it lasts. When I look at the stock market today and I see what's moving, I know a lot of the good stuff is happening because it costs so little to borrow.


Each day that cheap money makes something good come true. Today, for example, Vail Resorts (MTN) spent $183 million to buy another resort, Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) in Utah. The ski business has been really tough, as attendance has been dropping. If you just wanted to rely on the earnings of Vail Resorts, you wouldn't be in the stock. But you then wouldn't have been able to take advantage of the 10 percent gain you would have gotten instantly on the announcement of that acquisition. Yes, 10 percent! But the money's cheap and the expansion makes the stock much more attractive.


Speaking of free money, how about Twitter (TWTR) borrowing $1.5 billion for ridiculously low rates in a convertible debt deal that will allow the company, which makes no money, to make acquisitions that could help it grow. That wouldn't happen if rates were higher. But it did, and it is one of a long string of these kinds of deals that allow, for very little interest, a company to be able to accelerate  its business to a profitable critical mass. 

 

But the real party begins next week when the Federal Reserve issues an important policy statement.

By InvestorPlace Thu 7:15 PM

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 finished mixed on Thursday, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) finishing its third day below the 2000 level. Since shares rallied out of the early August low, things have been quiet.


Too quiet.


For the last four weeks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) has been contained in a 161-point range with multiple tests of support at 17,000.


Thursday was the second intraday breach of that critical level -- a possible sign of weakening market support. That's corroborated by narrowing measures of internal breadth I've been seeing as fewer and fewer stocks participate to the upside.


However, that's all set to change over the next week, starting on Friday.

 
Tags: $INDU$INX

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[BRIEFING.COM] In case anyone needed a reminder how beholden the stock market has gotten to the Fed keeping rates at the zero bound, they were offered one today when the major indices pretty much turned on a dime following a report out of The Wall Street Journal's Fed watcher, Jon Hilsenrath, that suggested the Fed may very well keep the "considerable period" language in tomorrow's directive.

Following the Fed is an exasperating study of semantics, yet no one but the Fed is to ... More


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