Stocks are hot again, but as in 2000, not all of them are reaping the benefits.
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The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks led to policies that prevent money laundering, but more needs to be done.
By Dan Freed, TheStreet
The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks were, among many other things, an attack on Wall Street.
Killed by U.S. forces on Sunday, Osama Bin Laden was largely ineffective in bringing down the U.S. financial system.
However, some important changes to the system did result.
Upscale offerings are on the docket for every major chain, indicating an industry-wide effort to improve margins.
McDonald's (MCD) has changed the fast-food industry in many ways since its first franchise location opened more than 50 years ago. One of its most recent contributions is the idea that a burger joint can be a specialty-drink powerhouse, too. A 2008 study showed that Mickey D's stores offering premium McCafe coffees generated 15% more revenue than a standard location.
So it's no surprise that every fast-food joint under the sun is trying to get in on the beverage biz. Specialty drinks are a high-margin business and are an easy way to experiment with creative new flavors to reach new customers.
The summer heat is a perfect occasion for testing these thirst quenchers, and a laundry list of quick-service restaurants are rolling out drinks that include a Double Stuff Oreo shake, frozen strawberry lemonade and new zero-calorie sodas. Here are some highlights:
With the Dow up 10%, it's natural to consider a move into consumer staples. But once they catch up to the rest of the market, they may underperform.
That's what people are starting to talk about when it comes to staples like Procter & Gamble (PG), Colgate (CL) and AstraZeneca (AZN) as they report just so-so numbers and then rally as if they got it right.
Of course, they don't rally hard. They go up 38 cents here and 42 cents there. But on a day like Monday, they were on display doing some terrific things versus riskier stocks like Caterpillar (CAT) and Apache (APA) that really gut-shotted your performance.
Anyone running a diversified portfolio wants to be in some of these. I am no different. I like Coca-Cola (KO) very much. At the right price I would like PG and Unilever (UN) and maybe Kimberly-Clark (KMB), certainly Altria (MO). But they are no longer at those prices. In fact, this rotation has moved them up to where unless you got a definitive break in commodity prices you could end up underperforming from here, because, alas, I think these moves are just catch-up moves to the rest of the market.
The luxury handbag company plans to open 30 new stores in China this year and next.
Whole Foods is sagging, so I'm replacing it in my Wall Street Survivor portfolio with biotech company Techne.
Last week I detected some weakness in Whole Foods Market (WFMI) and needed to replace it with a stock that has positive momentum. The chart below should make it obvious why WFMI needed to be cut.
Most of my picks follow what some people call momentum investing. I do not look for patterns, but I do use Barchart to find stocks that deserve to be recognized for their increases in sales and earnings.
Techne is a holding company with two operating units concentrating on hematology controls, which are used in laboratories to check the accuracy of blood analysis instruments, and biotechnology products such as purified proteins and antibodies.
The automaker's share price is going nowhere, even though the company is gaining momentum. Why?
But why? GM is gaining in market share, its Chevrolet Volt is one of the most-talked-about cars of the year, and the company seems poised for a full-fledged revival. Why is the stock such a dud?
Climbing gas prices are obviously a huge problem. But shares of Ford (F) haven't suffered nearly as much. SmartMoney visited the New York International Auto Show and found one key difference: Shoppers don't consider GM cars a good value.
Post continues after this video debate about whether GM stock is a buy:
In 5 hours of questioning at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, the Oracle tries to set the record straight on David Sokol.
Buffett grabbed the controversy by the horns, jumping right into the matter on everyone's minds: David Sokol, the former Berkshire executive who had traded stock in a company he urged Buffett to buy.
Buffett said Sokol's failure to tell him the whole story about Lubrizol was inexcusable, according to The Wall Street Journal, which sent reporters to the meeting. The whole affair, he said, was "a situation that's sad for Berkshire, sad for Dave and inexplicable."
Post continues after this video interview with Warren Buffett about the Sokol affair:
Bullish chart patterns and the potential for upside earnings surprises this week mean that investors should be looking to play the long side on these four energy stocks.
KIT digital is in the sweet spot of a burgeoning industry.
By Sean Sun
KIT digital (KITD) is the kind of company that you expect to find headquartered in New York, Los Angeles, or at the very least, Paris. Instead, the company and its namesake, the entrepreneur-cum-turnaround artist Kaleil Isaza Tuzman, can instead by found in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. From there, Tuzman has transformed the company from a headless chicken into what might become the salesforce.com (CRM) of the burgeoning video asset management software (VAMS) industry.
As its name suggests, KIT digital's particular expertise in this $10 billion-$15 billion market is in dealing with digital and Internet video. The company's solutions allow customers like MTV, Verizon, and CNN to create, manage, and distribute the increasing number of videos that are now popping up all over the Internet.
It's a simple thesis, really. Video content is going to increase: everything from more handheld electronic "access points" (tablets and smartphones, for instance) to cheaper and faster bandwidth point to this upward trend in video volume. As it increases, it will become increasingly less efficient for companies to handle all the necessary functions in-house.
These well-known companies are still finding more ways to grow.
By Scott Rothbort, StockPickr
The other day a good friend -- whom I refer to in my writings on TheStreet.com as "Craig the Jeweler" -- and I were discussing the difference between stocks and commodities. My opinion is that stocks have earnings, accumulate assets and pay dividends, whereas commodities have either industrial applications or social value. Craig asked me why companies such as Wal-Mart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) perform poorly. After all, he hypothesized, they are all making good money. I told him it's all about growth.
Investors tend to seek one or more of the following: value, growth, income. Growth is the furtherance of a company's sales and net worth. Income represents the dividends that the company pays shareholders. Valuation looks at the worth of a company versus its market price.
One of the classic models of stock valuation is the discounted cash flow model, or DCF, a growth-based model that considers the present value of a company's future earnings. Another model, the dividend discount model, or DDM, values companies based on dividends per share divided by the discount rate less the dividend growth rate.
The question isn't whether to hold AmBev but what the stock will do for you.
- Rising prices for the raw materials that go into the company’s beer.
- Rumors that a big international competitor, such as SABMiller, will buy Brazil’s second largest brewer, Primo Schincaril Industria de Cervejas e Refrigerantes, and put big money into taking some of AmBev's 70% market share in Brazil.
Investors should monitor the impact the Nasdaq's rebalancing will have on PowerShares QQQ. With video.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Here are five exchange-traded funds to watch this week.
The firm, however, that most investors will likely have their eyes on will be Apple (AAPL). After the rebalance, the tech goliath will remain the index's largest component. However, its weighting will be dropped by 8 percentage points to 12.5%.
Company executives bowed for several seconds Sunday to apologize, saying they will make amends.
The company said hackers stole the names, addresses and birth dates of account holders in its online gaming, movie and music services, The Wall Street Journal reported. We don't know for sure whether the hackers got credit card numbers as well. Sony said it can't rule out the possibility that 10 million customers may have had their card information compromised -- but it knows the hackers didn't get the security codes for those cards.
Post continues after this video about Sony's cyberattack:
The company's business seems to be growing faster than expected, putting it on course for a $100 billion valuation.
This year, Facebook could rake in $2 billion in earnings before taking out interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, sources tell the Journal. And the way that profit is going, the company could be valued at at least $100 billion when it goes public.
That's more than Amazon's (AMZN) current valuation of $88.5 billion and three times the size of phone giant Nokia (NOK).
Take this information with a grain of salt, however.
Big gains over the past 2 weeks call for conservative picks this week.
It was another gangbuster week for stocks. The S&P 500 powered to multi-year highs with a gain of nearly 2% for the week. Pushing stocks higher were strong earnings results and strong leadership from the Federal Reserve.
Speaking to reporters in an effort of greater transparency the Fed Chairman confirmed that QE 2 was winding down. More importantly interest rates were set to be held low for the foreseeable future.
The central bank wants risk taking and the markets are obliging. Interest rates are on the rise as bond holders sell positions. Cash then rotates to equity markets hence the nice gains in stocks of late.
It is not sustainable in my opinion. As May begins, look for stocks to take a breather as investors sell in May and go away. I’m quite happy to take a more neutral position with my ETF trades for this week.
Leading the way will be the ProShares Short Russell 2,000 (RWM).
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For years, Todd Mills pushed Frito-Lay to make taco shells from Doritos. He died from a brain tumor on Thanksgiving.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 shed 0.1%, registering its fourth consecutive decline. Today's session proved to be a bit of a roller coaster ride for stocks as the S&P 500 opened in the red, rallied into positive territory, fell to fresh lows, and regained the bulk of its losses into the close.
For the second day in a row, the early weakness coincided with heavy selling in Europe. In addition, bonds and risk assets were pressured by a better-than-expected ADP Employment report, which ... More
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