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With new distribution centers and big tablet orders, the retailer lays the framework for busy fourth quarter.

By Kim Peterson Jul 8, 2011 2:07PM
Christmas in July? For Amazon (AMZN), the answer is yes.

The retailer has Christmas on the brain these days as it prepares for a huge holiday season. This week, the company announced it will open two new distribution centers in Arizona and Indiana. It's already opened three other centers this year.

The company is on track to open nine new centers this year after opening 13 last year, Business Insider reports. It's a good sign that Amazon is expecting a whopper of a holiday season -- so much so that it's willing to rack up the expenses in preparation.

There's also a big new product in the works: Amazon's own tablet computer.  

Hackers continue to have a blast, News Corp. is forced to shut down a paper and Exxon plays dumb after its Montana oil spill in this week's round-up of business-world blunders.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 8, 2011 1:06PM

By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet

 

Here is this week's roundup of the dumbest actions on Wall Street.

 

5. Summer hackers having a blast

Dear Hackers,

 

How is your summer break so far? Are you having fun?

 

Judging from the headlines it seems like you have been awfully busy lately, hacking into Sony (SNE), AT&T (T), Fox News, the Senate and even the C.I.A. Wow! How cool is that!?!?

 

Investors who share Warren Buffett's economic optimism might consider this exchange-traded fund.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 8, 2011 11:09AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet

 

Warren Buffett's biggest claim to fame over the span of his illustrious multi-decade career has been his unmatchable investing prowess. However, droves of individuals on Wall Street and Main Street also consistently turn to the Oracle of Omaha in order to gain insight into current events and to hear his outlook for the U.S. and global economy.

 

The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) sat down with CNBC's Becky Quick in Sun Valley, Idaho to touch on topics ranging from the U.S. debt ceiling debates to the corporate jet industry. As in the past, the billionaire investor provided viewers with valuable insight blended with a touch of the folksy, down home charm he is known so well for.

 

During the conversation, Buffett had some choice words for Washington legislators when the topic of the U.S. debt ceiling was brought up. Calling the argument "silly," and likening the debate in Washington to a game of Russian roulette, he warned that major risks could arise in the event that the ceiling is not raised.

 

These market leaders have rallied sharply recently, and while a pullback is likely, the charts for both stocks show no signs of major tops.

By MoneyShow.com Jul 8, 2011 11:01AM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

On June 13, I took a look at the Nasdaq-100 index, which includes some of the most widely followed stocks, concluding that tech giants can still go lower.

This analysis was based in part on the relationship of four key stocks to their weekly Starc- bands: Netflix (NFLX), Google (GOOG), Amazon.com (AMZN), and Apple (AAPL).

While the deterioration in the weekly analysis for GOOG and AAPL did not favor buying even if they did get more oversold, I did recommend buying the other two market leaders.

The recommended buy levels were reached several weeks ago for NFLX and AMZN, and my initial sell zones have also been hit. So what’s next?
 

Yes, there's a lot of hype around the iPad and iPhone stock -- but for good reason.

By InvestorPlace Jul 8, 2011 9:46AM

By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com

 

I typically have little interest in the hottest stocks on Wall Street. There is much to be said for being fearful when others are greedy.


After all, how much buying pressure can be left to bid up a stock after every guppy on Main Street and every shark in a thousand-dollar suit owns shares?

 

Recently, I took a good look at Apple Inc. (AAPL), one of Wall Street’s biggest darlings. I was trying to find reasons to avoid the stock like the plague. But as it turns out, Apple is actually very cheap – and a good buy despite all the hype. Here’s why:

 

Warren Buffett's top lieutenant writes a parody about the Great Recession.

By Kim Peterson Jul 7, 2011 5:32PM
If you have a little time on your hands, you might want to check out the story of a man named Wantmore, an investment banker named Tweakmore, and the tragedy that unfolded in the country of Boneheadia.

That's the tale crafted in Slate Magazine by Charlie Munger, vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A). Warren Buffett's right-hand man apparently has a knack for parody.

Here's how his tale unfolds:

In the country of Boneheadia there was a man, Wantmore, who earned his income as a home mortgage loan originator. Wantmore operated conservatively. All his home loans bore interest rates of 6 percent or less, and he demanded of all borrowers large down payments, documented proof of adequate income, and an immaculate credit-using history. Wantmore sold all his loans to life insurance companies that, before closing purchases, checked loan quality with rigor—then held all loans to maturity.
 

Peabody Energy wins the right to develop a major block of coal. Even better? The site is next door to China.

By Jim J. Jubak Jul 7, 2011 4:41PM
Jim JubakMongolia has chosen China Shenhua Energy (CSUAY), a Russian-led consortium, and Peabody Energy (BTU) to develop the western portion of its Tavan Tolgoi deposit of coking coal.

Tavan Tolgoi contains an estimated 6.5 billion metric tons of metallurgical coal, and the western block accounts for an estimated 1.2 billion tons of that.

Development rights were divided, with 40% going to China Shenhua, 36% to the Russian consortium, and 24% to Peabody Energy. The projected cost of developing the western block is $7.3 billion.

Winning the right to develop 24% of 1.2 billion metric tons of coal is a big deal. Getting the rights to 24% of 1.2 billion tons of metallurgical coal next door to China is an even bigger deal for Peabody.
 

The anatomy of a great company.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Jul 7, 2011 3:23PM

By Morgan Housel

 

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) Vice Chairman Charlie Munger isn't one to mince words, but his recent plug for Costco (COST) had an almost fanatical level of bluntness.

 

Asked about his favorite company outside of Berkshire, Munger literally interrupted the questioner and answered, "That's easy. It's Costco."

 

"It's one of the most admirable capitalistic institutions in the world. And its CEO, Jim Sinegal, is one of the most admirable retailers to ever live on this planet," he gushed. "I just can't say enough about my admiration for Costco. More of you should look at Costco. In fact, every time Donald Trump says something and you get discouraged, you should think about Costco."

 

One analyst questions the company's governance and wonders about the competition.

By Kim Peterson Jul 7, 2011 2:11PM
Shares of LinkedIn (LNKD) continue to trade above $90, more than twice the $45 offering price from the May IPO. And one analyst is tired of all the hype.

Paul Meeks at CapStone Investments has initiated coverage on the social-networking stock with a "sell" rating and a $45 price target.

"There is froth in the stock price of LinkedIn and other social media names," Meeks writes in his report. "We can't get here (over $90 per share) from there or from where we see LinkedIn going even under the most optimistic scenario." You can see the summary of Meeks' 18-page writeup here

The major indexes saw a dip just as the ruling was being read. Coincidence?

By Kim Peterson Jul 7, 2011 1:02PM
Was Wall Street watching the Casey Anthony trial?

That's what one website is wondering after seeing an interesting drop in the markets just after the verdict was read Tuesday.

The lead-up to the verdict began building at 2 p.m., with the televised proceedings starting at around 2:17 p.m., Mogulite reports. Between 2 p.m. and 2:34 p.m., there was a dip in the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes. 

MSN Money columnist Anthony Mirhaydari explains why the economic recovery is too young to die -- and how investors can still get in on it.

By Kim Peterson Jul 7, 2011 12:43PM

The economic recovery will continue, says Anthony Mirhaydari, a columnist for MSN Money.

Calling the recovery, "just too young to die," he notes many positives happening still. Corporate earnings are improving, and some short-term drags, such as high energy prices, are beginning to fade.

Mirhaydari also answers Facebook questions from MSN Money readers about stocks, the debt ceiling and investor mentality. You can check out his comments in the following video.

Post continues after video:

 

The video service, which is reportedly up for sale, announces some key numbers.

By Kim Peterson Jul 7, 2011 12:27PM
Hulu is going for the hard sell.

The online video service says it's getting paid subscribers faster than it had expected and is on track to hit 1 million by the end of summer.

In a blog post this week, chief executive Jason Kilar said Hulu Plus added more subscribers in June than in April and May combined. The site now has 875,000 members paying the $8 monthly subscription fee. That fee allows users to watch a vast library of television shows on their computers, iPads, phones and other devices. (The free version of Hulu is available only via computer and doesn't have as many videos.)

Finally, Kilar said, Hulu is profitable and on track to bring in nearly $500 million in revenue this year, up from $263 million last year. 

After just 3 weeks on the market, Chromebooks grab 4 of the top 17 spots on Amazon's best-seller list.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 7, 2011 12:11PM

By Anton Wahlman, TheStreet

 

Hey, Microsoft (MSFT), if you're in the car, check the rearview mirror and move into the right lane. It looks like there is a laptop freight train called Google (GOOG) that's about to pass you in sales. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

 

I just checked Amazon's laptop bestseller-list, and among the top 17 best-selling models, there are four Google laptops, including the No. 2 seller. No. 1 is Apple's (AAPL) 13-inch MacBook Pro. Four out of the top 17 isn't a bad showing for Google after being on the market for only three weeks.

 

These Google laptops are the so-called Chromebooks, based on the Chrome OS, and they cost between $350 and $500. I have written about these devices extensively since early December 2010, including this article in March.

 

The stock has historically outperformed the market, but technical indicators suggest that relationship may be changing.

By MoneyShow.com Jul 7, 2011 11:25AM
By Tom Aspray, MoneyShow.com

Technology bellwether Apple (AAPL) has closed higher for the past five days in a row, and with Wednesday’s close at $351.76, the stock is up 13.2% from the June lows. Though this performance is pretty impressive, is it good enough to keep AAPL as a market-leading stock?

Identifying and monitoring the market leaders can help you to spot short-term turning points. For example, if several market-leading stocks are close to the weekly Starc+ bands (a high-risk buying zone) it will suggest that the overall market is also due for a rest.
Though AAPL has had nice gains from recent lows, how does it compare with other market bellwethers?
 

A new fund designed to track cloud computing turns heads by including the video-streaming service as a top holding.

By TheStreet Staff Jul 7, 2011 11:17AM

By Roger Nusbaum, TheStreet

 

The launch of the First Trust ISE Cloud Computing Index Fund (SKYY) is the latest micro-niche fund to hit the market. Some investors will scoff at the fund, some will trade it actively, and some will find genuine investment merit.

 

The U.S. fund will have 40 holdings, most of which are technology related, will rebalance quarterly, and will charge a 0.60% expense ratio. At the industry level, the fund is dominated by software (32% of holdings), Internet services (22%) and communications equipment (16%). One other industry in there that might be a surprise is Internet and catalog retail at 7.75%, with the largest name from that segment being Netflix (NFLX).

 

Netflix's inclusion means the fund provides logical access not only to companies building and servicing the cloud but also to a couple of companies using the cloud. Netflix is the largest holding in the fund, at 4.5%, and it seems like everyone has an opinion about the name. Investors who are bullish on Netflix believe the company's growth is scalable because of how good the service is, while others argue the stock should fall by pointing to valuations and increasing costs for content.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The Nasdaq Composite (+0.5%) and S&P 500 (+0.2%) posted modest gains on Thursday, but not before enduring a morning dip into the red, which took place in reaction to reports indicating Russia has commenced military exercises on the Ukrainian border.

The news from Europe knocked the key indices from their early highs, while giving a boost to safe-haven assets like gold futures (+0.5% to $1290.80/ozt), Treasuries (10-yr yield -1 bps to 2.69%), and the Japanese yen (102.30 ... More


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