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.


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
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:


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 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 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.


Can't get a piece of the hottest offering of the year? Try buying the right calls in one of its largest stakeholders.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 4:10 PM
Credit: © Hong Wu/Getty Images
Caption: The Alibaba Group headquarters in Hangzhou, ChinaBy Steven M. Sears, Barron's

For the average investor, getting a piece of Alibaba's initial public offering is as likely as winning the lottery.

The underwriters of the Chinese e-commerce giant's IPO will allocate shares to institutional customers who generate significant fees. 

Those customers are apt to sell for a quick profit in the aftermarket where less well-heeled investors, seduced by Wall Street's get-rich-quick marketing machine, will buy Alibaba's stock at price-earnings multiples that might give angina to disciplined investors like Warren Buffett.

But investors who want to profit from the biggest U.S. IPO in history and what will almost certainly be one of the hottest deals of the year can consider a backdoor options trade.

Tags: YHOO

Tech stocks have fallen so far at the start of the new millennium, it was difficult to imagine that the index could ever make up what it lost.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 3:50 PM
Image: Dollar sign on keyboard © Corbis​By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch

The Nasdaq Composite Index ($COMPX) has outperformed the record-setting  Standard & Poor's 500 Index ($INX) of the largest U.S. stocks this year. 

And it's climbing back to its record high set in March 2000, when the dot-com bubble burst.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq had fallen so far at the start of the new millennium, it was difficult to imagine that it would ever make up what it lost. But as MarketWatch's Howard Gold discusses today, the Nasdaq Composite is close to completing an extraordinary recovery.

The index comprises about 2,500 stocks, much fewer than there were in the late 1990s, and has become less beholden to the tech industry. Such shares now make up 44 percent of the total, down from 57 percent at the end of 2009. Sorry to say that Apple (AAPL) isn't among the best bets this year, even though a tour de force product rollout impressed investors.


The country has spurned traditional shopping -- big-box retailers especially -- in favor of online purchases from the company. It's huge, and only getting bigger.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 2:55 PM
Credit: © Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Caption: Taobao, a website of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is displayed on a computer tabletBy Scott Cendrowski, Fortune

Alibaba started dominating in China, simply enough, by connecting big Chinese manufacturers with big buyers across the world. 

Its business-to-business site,, went public in 2007 (before going private again seven years later) to great fanfare. The site allowed business to buy everything from Chinese-made mopeds to blue jeans in bulk.

Alibaba's advantage wasn't hard to discern, and it remains the reason the Chinese tech giant's IPO has been mentioned on every news site and TV broadcast for the past week: size.


A fast-food restaurant is not an obvious fit for a brunch gathering. Some speculate the move could signal expanded breakfast hours.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 2:23 PM
Caption: A sign stands outside of a McDonald's restaurant in San Francisco
Credit: © Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesBy Venessa Wong, Businessweek

McDonald's (MCD) might want to put Egg McMuffins into the national brunch discussion. 

The burger giant has applied to trademark "McBrunch," signaling yet another possible approach to boost its late-morning business on the weekends.

Breakfast is the quickest-growing time of day for fast-food sales, and McDonald's has been fighting to keep its lead against an increasingly crowded field of morning competitors. 

More robust food offerings from Starbucks (SBUX) now vie with a new morning menu at Taco Bell and better coffee from Chick-fil-A on the breakfast battlefield.


The commodity is nominated in US dollars, and the dollar is getting stronger.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 2:04 PM
Image: Baker © Blend Images/SuperStockBy Lee Brodie, CNBC

There seems to be every reason for oil to rally. Why is it down? And should you pare down on your energy holdings?

Always an advocate for understanding the environment before you make any big decisions, Jim Cramer believes it's critical for anyone holding energy stocks to get a handle on oil, and why the price is in decline, especially when there would seem every reason for it to go higher.

Common sense would suggest the ongoing tensions in Russia, as well as the threat of an Ebola epidemic in Nigeria and the horrific terrorism in Iraq, would all send oil higher, if for no other reason than they threaten supply.

Tags: RDS

Banks are on board, but merchants are still wary of paying for the technology.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 1:55 PM
Credit: © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Caption: Apple CEO Tim Cook talks about Apple Pay at an Apple special event on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.By Daisuke Wakabayashi and Greg Bensinger, The Wall Street Journal

Apple (AAPL) has lined up an impressive list of banks and credit-card issuers to support its new mobile-payment service. Now all it needs is more merchants, and customers.

Apple hopes its service, Apple Pay, will prompt shoppers to ditch their wallet and make purchases with an iPhone. The system relies on a technology known as near-field communication, or NFC, that has had trouble winning acceptance from merchants.

Merchants must install a reader at their checkout line for so-called tap-and-go payments. NFC readers are being used by fewer than 10 percent of merchants, according to Gartner analyst Mark Hung.


The songs are showing up in some user libraries as purchased, with or without their approval.

By MSN Money Partner Thu 1:22 PM
Credit: © Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images
Caption: Apple CEO Tim Cook, left, smiles next to U2 members, The Edge, Bono, and Larry Mullen Jr. during an announcement of new products on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Cupertino, Calif.By James Cook, Business Insider

While Bono and Tim Cook (pictured) might be excited about the release of U2's new album, not everyone is sharing their enthusiasm

Toward the end of Tuesday's Apple event, Tim Cook and Bono announced that every iTunes user would be given the band's new album for free. 

While that might not sound like a bad thing, many people are angry over the way Apple chose to "gift" the album. 

U2's new album, "Songs of Innocence," shows up in iTunes libraries as purchased, whether users have chosen to buy it or not. That has made a lot of people angry, as it's nearly impossible to get rid of the album.
Tags: AAPL


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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market welcomed the new trading week with a mixed session that saw relative strength among large-cap stocks, while high-beta names underperformed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.3%) and S&P 500 (-0.1%) finished near their flat lines, while the Nasdaq Composite and Russell 2000 both lost 1.1%.

Equities began the day on a cautious note amid continued concerns regarding the strength of the global economy. Over the weekend, China reported its first decline ... More


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