The $19 billion WhatsApp deal could become the Facebook founder's legacy . . . or his albatross.
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The automaker posts its fifth consecutive quarterly profit -- an impressive $3.2 billion -- but the news may not be as good as investors and consumers think. Includes video.
In November, General Motors Co (GM) emerged from bankruptcy and raised more than $20 billion re-entering the stock market at $33 a share. But there haven't been a lot of fireworks since then. Almost six months later, the stock price is largely unchanged.
But there was good news Thursday for investors looking for growth and consumers worried about their favorite brands like the iconic Corvette. The company just reported great sales for first quarter of 2011, marking the fifth consecutive quarterly profit.
So what does this mean for General Motors cars, customers and investors? Well, unfortunately, the news may not be as good as you think.
As the overheated crude market begins to resemble reality, is there a level at which consumer stocks and oil companies both win?
Going into this week, the national average gasoline price hit $3.99. Right now it looks like it will NOT take out that $4 mark that was so devastating to demand last time, especially after this morning's collapse in crude.
At last we are seeing a semblance of reality in this overheated market -- one that, anytime you say might be inaccurate or overstated, is defended by the "free marketeers" who actually try to explain that the market is an honest one that correctly prices crude.
Markets don't collapse like this if they are honest barometers of the price of the commodity. The price of oil should have been in free fall for a while but for the combination of momentum oil ETF buyers, fears about Libya that are dissipating post-Osama Bin Laden, and the small amount of capital required up front to control a lot of oil.
Green Mountain has another blowout quarter.
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz
Can life get any better for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR)?
Analysts had set the bar high for the maker of Keurig brewers and java-loaded K-Cup refills. They figured that Green Mountain's net sales would soar 94% to $629.4 million, with adjusted profitability nearly doubling to $0.38 a share.
Slackers! Green Mountain's net sales more than doubled to $647.7 million, with non-GAAP earnings skyrocketing 131%, to $0.48 a share.
Remember the bears fretting about decelerating growth? Care to call up the worrywarts that were concerned that brewer sales were outpacing K-Cups, pointing to waning usage of these single-cup systems?
The highflying metals have been hit hard recently, but a look at the volume analysis and chart patterns shows they haven't yet completed major tops.
Quarterly results from PetroHawk and SandRidge will provide additional clues into the current state and future prospects of natural gas.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
It has been a busy few weeks for energy-focused investors. On top of following oil's rise and seeing its effect on consumers at the pump, investors, commentators and market analysts have been closely monitoring the pack of energy producers that have stepped up to the earnings plate.
Oil was in the spotlight last week as international integrated energy majors, including Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX) and ConocoPhillips (COP), released their quarterly numbers to the public. For the most part, the Goliaths witnessed impressive strength buoyed by crude oil's gains.
Throughout this week, natural gas has become the energy source to watch as major players from this sector release their earnings reports. So far, the numbers have been mixed.
On tap are a Chinese social-networking site, a US wireless company and a patent servicer.
By Frank Byrt, TheStreet
Almost certain to see a run-up in their share prices over the next few days are three companies going public Wednesday: Chinese social-networking site Renren (whose ticker will be RENN), and U.S. companies RPX (RPXC), which buys patents from other companies to shield them from lawsuits, and Boingo Wireless (WIFI), a provider of mobile Internet access software.
The IPOs of all three are oversubscribed, which means demand exceeds supply at that level of issuance. Often the shares will jump in value once they hit the public market. Further ahead, Delphi Automotive, the world's largest auto-parts supplier, is expected to announce an IPO within the next few weeks that should also attract significant investor attention.
The iconic pastry and coffee company seeks funds to grow both at home and overseas.
Though named after its tasty pastries, Dunkin' Donuts is one of the most powerful beverage brands in America. Its coffee customers routinely rank the company at the top of the list for brand loyalty, and awards are a big driver behind the chain's $6 billion in annual revenue.
Dunkin' Donuts hopes investors share that kind of enthusiasm for the brand, with the Massachusetts company looking to offer stock in its operations sometime soon. Wednesday, it announced it has filed for an IPO that could raise up to $400 million and will create a stock that trades under the Nasdaq ticker DNKN.
After the market's recovery over the past year or so, some observers think the timing is right to sell stock in Dunkin' Donuts. But should individual investors buy it, and will it change anything for consumers?
So far, smaller, riskier stocks and commodities have led the move lower. Large caps are next as traders unwind anti-dollar carry trades.
It's been a tale of two markets this week as smaller, riskier stocks and commodities have screamed lower while defensive mega-cap stocks have remained buoyant and wondered, "What's all the fuss about?"
If you've ever wondered whether Wall Street is subject to manipulative forces, look at the Dow Jones chart from Tuesday. After trading in a 100-point range, the Dow closed within 1 point of its previous close -- for a change of zero. The Russell 2000 small-cap index lost 1.3%. Wall Street wanted to keep Main Street, which closely follows the Dow, placated for just one more day. Similar behavior was seen in the days after the May 6 "flash crash" ahead of a multi-month sell-off.
The performance difference between large- and small-cap stocks is a sign that a corrective decline -- one that I predicted in my most recent column -- is still in its early stages. People just aren't scared enough yet. And there are other signs that downward momentum is accelerating.
Battery maker Polypore will be a major beneficiary as costly fuel spurs demand for electric vehicles.
Of all the villains in the home loan crisis, the Justice Department appears ready to target the least bad: Goldman Sachs.
Of all the people who tricked Americans into terrible mortgages, all of those who encouraged out-and-out fraud to get a commission, all of those who made it so many people have lost their homes to foreclosure, you would think that the Justice Department would have at least one if not two or three of the top scalps involved.
Think of all of the people in the process who created, packaged and sold securities that they knew were worthless because they originated the mortgages. Think about all of the people who dissembled their exposure to trick companies into lending them money, so when the "collateral" of those mortgages unraveled, it led to trillions in bank losses and the destruction of some once-great American companies.
Think about all of that advertising you and I saw for no-money-down mortgages and home-equity loans that flowed hourly. Think about the rubber-stamping by those who should have known better, including the largest buyers of mortgages in the country who, for huge fees, packaged gigantic loans in bundles that they knew would lead to huge defaults.
The wireless industry continues to see more consolidation. But that won't knock out American Tower.
Materials are likely to underperform sector leaders like health care and consumer staples this summer. Here’s the latest chart action for the materials sector ETF and three of its key holdings.
Hands-on investors can use subsector funds to benefit from various developments in the health care industry, such as M&A activity.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
The evolution of the ETF industry has led to the development of funds that are aimed toward tracking various subcomponents of a single sector. For example, while investors can use the iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average Index Fund (IYT) to access a collection of airlines, railroads and delivery services, it is also possible to use the Guggenheim Airline ETF (FAA) to specifically target airlines.
The same goes for health care. The Health Care Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLV) tracks a basket of firms hailing from branches of the health care industry including pharmaceuticals, providers and biotechnology. The instant diversification that comes with XLV makes the fund an attractive choice for those looking for catch-all exposure to health care.
Hands-on investors, meanwhile, may find funds such as the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Pharmaceuticals Index Fund (IHE), First Trust NYSE Arca Biotechnology Index Fund (FBT) or iShares Dow Jones U.S. Healthcare Providers Index Fund (IHF) more to their liking.
Google and Cirrus are logical choices.
By Eric Bleeker
This month, I'm headed back to the well for my real-money Rising Stars portfolio. I'm scooping up more shares of Cirrus Logic (CRUS), a company that's ridden Apple's (AAPL) coattails to record levels of profitability, but has seen its stock falter as production issues on a recent design rattled investors. The event highlighted the execution risk that could undermine Cirrus' future growth within Apple's product lines. However, I feel that given the known risks, Cirrus remains attractively priced.
However, I'm also going to add Google (GOOG) to the portfolio. While the businesses of Google and Cirrus Logic couldn't be any different, my rationale for buying both stocks is the same.
Our mobile future
A key theme of the portfolio I'm building is that mobile, connected devices will be a change on par with the emergence of the personal computer in the 1980s. This extends well beyond the idea of general smartphone or tablet sales, and into a broader "consumerization of information technology" trend.
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.
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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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