The $19 billion WhatsApp deal could become the Facebook founder's legacy . . . or his albatross.
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Don't buy or sell a stock by mimicking the moves of major fund managers without knowing the rationale behind their decisions.
I don't know about you, but I am beginning to tire of the cottage industry that is seeing what funds own and what they are selling and buying, particularly if they are hedge funds. Let's see, Paulson still likes gold. Hmm, hold on to Novagold (NG). But wait a second, Soros sold his Novagold. In fact, he sold every gold. Maybe sell Novagold? Maybe short the SPDR Gold (GLD)?
But there's one thing I know I don't know: the rationale behind the move. Will Steve Cohen be gone tomorrow? Is Paulson just a believer in gold no matter the price? Is Soros just taking profits?
After a rough 2010, Precision Castparts has a good future riding on the launch of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.
The recent spate of high-profile security breaches has focused attention on tech stocks such as Symantec, Fortinet and Websense.
By James Rogers, TheStreet
"For hackers, the RSA breach was akin to attacking Fort Knox," Laura DiDio, principal analyst at ITIC, told TheStreet. "The hackers are now more organized and the attacks themselves are becoming more sophisticated and more pernicious."
Corporate America's pain, however, could be a gain for investors, as recent events focus attention squarely on security firms capable of locking down data and networks. Cue Symantec (SYMC), Fortinet (FTNT) and Websense (WBSN), which tout their wares as a way for businesses to avoid embarassing data breaches.
Sales crews working overnight shifts. Black curtains in store windows. Early-morning staff meetings. Is Apple cooking up a new product?
The technology site Boy Genius Report says it has heard that about 10 to 15 employees are signed up to work overnight shifts at each Apple store Saturday night. During those shifts, the employees must lock their cellphones away and will have to sign a nondisclosure agreement about their activities.
Apple will put up black curtains in its store windows during that time, the site reports, and install specialized hardware inside the store that night. Employees are getting special training, and all stores will have mandatory meetings Sunday.
Sounds intriguing. What could Apple be planning?
The home improvement chains both report a surprise drop in first-quarter sales, but one stock is the clear winner.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Here's a look at how the first-quarter earnings of the two companies stacked up:
Home Depot earned 50 cents a share on revenue of $16.82 billion, beating Wall Street profit estimates of 49 cents a share, but missing analysts' revenue projections of $17.06 billion. Lowe's posted earnings per share of 34 cents on revenue of $12.19 billion, falling short of forecasts of 36 cents on revenue of $12.54 billion.
Home Depot reported same-store sales decline of 0.6% versus Lowe's 3.3% decrease.
Is there finally enough evidence to go after Goldman Sachs?
By Matt Koppenheffer
In a piece earlier this year titled "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail?" Rolling Stone fire-breather Matt Taibbi began with a quote from a former Senate investigator:
"Everything's [bleeped] up, and nobody goes to jail," he said. "That's your whole story right there. Hell, you don't even have to write the rest of it. Just write that." [Censoring via The Motley Fool.]
The teddy-bear regulators
Many Americans resent the profound dearth of Wall Streeters sent to jail after the horrific financial crisis. It seems to be a particularly sore spot for Taibbi, particularly when it comes to Goldman Sachs (GS), the company he infamously tagged the "great vampire squid."
As selling pressure intensifies, important technical milestones are lost, clearing the way for additional broad market losses.
With Monday's sell-off, the bulls couldn't hold their line of defense, seen most clearly at the Russell 2000's 50-day moving average and the 1,340 level on the S&P 500. The bears are on full attack.
A similar downside breakout was seen back in March during the fallout from the Japanese earthquake and meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. That decline proved to be short-lived and was followed by a quick and decisive rebound.
But things are different this time. We've seen a huge shift out of cyclical sectors into defensives. Sentiment indicators have risen to levels not seen since the end of the last bull market. And we've seen a huge deceleration in the economic growth trend. All suggest this new downturn will last longer than March's speed bump. Here's why.
The lawsuit says that after 3 days of training, the company dismissed an employee who asked to use a step stool.
That's at the heart of a lawsuit filed against Starbucks on behalf of Elsa Sallard, a dwarf hired to work as a barista in El Paso, Tex.
In the lawsuit, Sallard claims she was only allowed to train for three days before she was fired. She wasn't tall enough to do the job, and she asked to use a stool or a small stepladder. The same day, the lawsuit says, she was fired for posing a potential danger to customers and employees.
The company relied on overseas business for its first-quarter profit. With video.
The retail giant reported a solid first quarter Tuesday, beating analysts' expectations with a 3.8% gain in profit. But the store relied on strong overseas business to overcome a sales drop in the U.S. that has stretched for eight straight quarters.
Meanwhile, other retailers in the U.S., including dollar stores and Target (TGT), are eating away at Wal-Mart's market share here. Wal-Mart executives said American shoppers are running out of money faster than before.
Post continues after this video of one investor discussing Wal-Mart's flaws:
Commodities appear headed for volatility, so investors should be careful with resource-related funds.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
At the start of this week, Joy Global (JOYG) stole the headlines with news that the coal mining equipment firm was planning to purchase LeTourneau Technologies from Rowan Companies (RDC) for $1.1 billion.
There are a number of ETFs that will be likely affected as more is learned about this deal.
The most direct way to gain access to the Joy Global deal is through the Market Vectors Coal ETF (KOL), which is designed to track some of the world's largest and most liquid coal-related companies. Currently, shares of JOYG represent 8% of its portfolio, making it the third largest position.
The PC giant says weak sales and slow spending will cut profits.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
Shares of HP were down 5% in pre-market trading Tuesday after the No. 1 computer maker was forced to release its earnings a day early due to a leaked memo from CEO Leo Apotheker that warned his management team of "another tough quarter."
The disappointing forecast comes just a week after switching and computer networking rival Cisco (CSCO) cut its outlook for the third straight time on deteriorating sales across several segments of the business.
The sector's outperformance has been surprising, but the current market correction brings risk.
The billionaire investor made few moves and posted just a small gain in the first quarter.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
It's the second quarter in a row of little activity for the investment company run by the man dubbed the Oracle of Omaha for the trading prowess that helped him build an estimated net worth of $50 billion over half a century. In the first quarter, former hedge fund manager Todd Combs started working at Berkshire, managing part of the portfolio, as the 80-year-old billionaire selects a succession team.
Berkshire Hathaway's 26-stock investment portfolio was valued at $53.6 billion as of March 31, up $1 billion, or 2%, from the end of 2010, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission report that the hedge fund filed late Monday. Buffett isn't required to publish foreign holdings. The benchmark S&P 500 Index ($INX) rose 5.4% in the first quarter.
Evercore may be smaller than big investment banks, but it's well-positioned to get a piece of the buyout biz in 2011.
After the 2008 financial crisis, merger-and-acquisition activity plunged. But recently, things have perked up. Just look at Microsoft (MSFT) last week, which paid a hefty $8.5 billion for Skype, or the recent plan from AT&T (T) to acquire T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)
No doubt, the deal making has boosted the fortunes of investment banks. But your best bet to cash in on the M&A boom isn’t one of the big players. It's a smaller buyout shop that is doing big business despite its size.
That stock is Evercore Partners (EVR).
One is a cheap stock that has simply run out of buyers, while the other is undisciplined and lacks a growth catalyst.
I'll begin with Apple because we own it for Action Alerts Plus. It's a cheap stock that just happens to be out of buyers. It seems that everyone who wants it already owns it, and the angst factor is causing selling.
I think the stock is cheap even if you don't back out the cash, and I also think that if Steve Jobs were healthy, the price would be higher. I just get the sense that so many people have one foot out the door that it can't rally.
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The apparel chain takes a hard hit after blaming the weather for its quarterly sales decline. But cold temperatures don't explain the drop in full-year sales as well.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages finished the Tuesday session near their lows with the Russell 2000 (-1.0%) leading the slide. The S&P 500 lost 0.5% with nine sectors ending in the red.
Equities indices started the day with modest gains and spent the first two hours of action in the neighborhood of their flat lines. Although the early trade lacked clear sector leadership, that could have been overlooked due to the strength among heavily-weighted sectors like health care (-0.3%), ... More
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