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The company's latest recall of children's medicines may push more people to use generics.
In the case of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), some parents are wondering if generic drugs are simply a safer bet. The recent recall of children's Tylenol, Motrin and other medicines is at least the fifth recall in a year for the company's McNeil Consumer Healthcare division.
"Well, then no more baby Tylenol, back to generic brand," one father wrote on his Twitter account, according to The New York Times.
Warren Buffett's about-face on derivatives smacks of a rich, spoiled brat, not the sage, sensible investor the market adores.
By Lauren Tara LaCapra, TheStreet
Warren Buffett is a hypocrite.
For at least eight years, the Oracle of Omaha had been grousing about the derivatives business: In 2002, he called derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction." In 2003, he said they were "unattractive" and moaned about related losses. In 2004, he compared the derivatives market to hell. In 2005, he mocked the way contracts are structured and compared the dangers of derivatives trading to Hurricane Katrina.
In 2006 and 2007, Buffett's tone softened a bit as Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) wound down a derivatives business it took over when it acquired Gen Re. He breathed a sigh of relief on that front, and assured investors that all remaining derivatives contracts that Berkshire held were personally managed by Buffett himself and contained "no counterparty risk."
Both the youth market and boomers are using on-line financial software
Intuit Inc. ( INTU ) is trying to show you how easy it is to do all your finances including tax filings on-line. The products are marketed to the public and many of the products can be purchased and downloaded directly on-line. Demographics are in their favor because the youthful markets are used to doing things on line and the boomers are finding that doing tax filings using on-line software isn't really that hard. They enjoy not only the privacy ( they like to play their finances close to the vest ) but also like the math and fact check features that are built into the software.
Price momentum in this stock has been very good lately with a 7.48% increase this past month. The stock hit 12 new highs in the last 20 trading sessions and on Barchart all 13 technical indicators signal a buy for a 100% buy rating.
Wall Street analysts are looking for increased earnings of 5.80% this year and 8.20% next year. Their projections of earnings per share increases get my attention. They estimate an EPS increase of 11.00% this year, 11.40% next year and a 5 year annual compounded EPS increase of 13.83%. I like this for a long term pick.
BBI stock is up double-digits today on hopes of increased market share ... but that may not be enough to save the struggling chain
Though Movie Gallery had already declared bankruptcy, things went from bad to worse over the weekend as the company has decided to close all of its 2,415 stores and liquidate its inventory. The movie rental chain had hoped to stay alive after some restructuring, but it couldn’t stop the bleeding fast enough. Movie Gallery also operated locations under the Hollywood Video and Game Crazy brands, and all will be closed at an undetermined date.
This prevents an interesting dilemma for investors in regards to the top brick-and-mortar rental chain Blockbuster (BBI). Will the company continue its own descent to the bottom and follow Movie Gallery into oblivion, or will it turn Movie Gallery’s failure into a success now that it has the market almost all to itself?
After a strong earnings report and significant share appreciation in the last year, MCD shareholders are "lovin' it"
When you think of the quintessential American restaurant, fast-food giant McDonald's (MCD) is first in line. But Mickey D’s much more than just an iconic U.S. burger joint -- it has also proved to be a recession buster for many investors’ portfolios. Over the past five years, the stock has shot up nearly 138%, and so far this year there's been no sign the stock is slowing down. The restaurant stock now trades at 52-week highs.
Certainly, value-conscious consumers have demonstrated a taste for McDonald's during the recession … but many investors are wondering if the ride over now that the economy is improving. After all, a focus on healthier eating has some pushing for McDonald's to fire longtime mascot Ronald McDonald.
Well, if you’re thinking of cashing out your shares of the Golden Arches -- think again. Here are three reasons to buy McDonald’s right now:
Don't let the overreaction to the downside dissuade you from buying these great companies.
If you didn't know any better, you would think that all drilling in the world is being done in the Gulf, that the Gulf is finished as a place to drill -- a la California after the huge Santa Barbara Unocal spill of a different generation -- and that all the drillers should therefore be sold.
If you looked at the bank stocks, you would presume that the Senate is going to run roughshod over the group and trash all but the smaller regionals, when I think the opposite is true. Sen. Chris Dodd is well aware of the anger in America, and yet he wants to be constructive, and the declines this morning are totally out of sync with what's happening in Washington, as there is some negative analyst chatter that I think does not read Congress correctly.
The market closed down for the week but up for the month -- and the last 3 months too.
Value Line Index: Contains 1700 stocks, so it's much broader than the S&P 500 or the even narrower Dow 30 -- down for the week but up for the month
- Index down 3.16% for the week but still up 4.94% for the month
- The Index closed Friday below its 20 day moving average but above its 50 & 100 DMA
- Barchart technical signals have a 40% short term sell but an 8% overall buy signal
- Index was positive 3 months in a row
Barchart Market Momentum: The percentage of stocks closing above their daily moving averages for various time periods -- above 50% means a rising tide floats all boats -- slight weakness this week
Jeremy Grantham and others are keying on high-quality large-caps. Here's a few that my Guru Strategies think are the best of the big boys.
GMO's Jeremy Grantham, the longtime bear who in late 2008 and early 2009 said stocks had become cheap for the first time in more than two decades, is sounding gloomy again. In his latest quarterly letter, released last week, Grantham says he thinks U.S. stocks have blown past fair value and are now "very overpriced".
But Grantham says one particular area of the market is still offering good buys: U.S. high-quality large-caps. And he's not alone. BusinessWeek reported this week that two other fund managers with excellent long-term track records -- Thomas Perkins and Donald Yacktman -- are finding bargains in similar areas. Perkins, whose Mid Cap Value fund has beaten 94% of its peers in the past decade, says large-caps "have gotten so cheap that they should outperform for the next several years"; Yacktman, whose fund has beaten 99% of funds in its category over the past three, five, and ten years, according to Morningstar, has big positions in high-quality blue chips like Coca-Cola (KO) and Pfizer (PFE).
While my Guru Strategies -- each of which is based on the approach of a different investing great -- are currently finding value in a number of different areas of the market, Grantham's, Perkins', and Yacktman's comments got me wondering which large-caps these models might be highest on. And, right now, according to my models, one stock may clearly be the best of the large-cap bunch.
There will be winners and losers if financial regulatory reform passes. Giant banks will be stung; smaller ones will win out.
Now we know why Wall Street lobbyists are out in force in the fight against financial regulatory reform.
The New York Times is reporting that new rules with respect to trading of derivative securities would cost banks billions.
Of course this issue boils down to big dollars. For too long Wall Street firms have operated in a shadow environment whereby the rules were fast and loose. As a result of market inefficiency with respect to complex financial derivatives, big bucks were made.
To the extent regulations are passed those profits could evaporate, hurting the biggest banks of the world. But that pain will benefit the smaller banks that I will mention below.
There are three areas to examine to see how global markets could perform in the future.
Remember that trends always run further and longer than investors expect. So what does that mean at the moment?
U.S. outperformance. The U.S. stock market will continue to be the best performing stock market in the world into the summer. The Bureau of Economic Analysis report Friday on first-quarter gross domestic product numbers didn't put a period to that trend.
A whistle-blowing lawyer claims Lehman's chief executive lied to Congress about his salary.
Pass the popcorn! Oh, wait. The case of the salary of former Lehman exec Richard Fuld is just a drop in the bucket. There are countless scandals now involving Wall Street bosses, their ridiculous salaries, the investor money they lost and how it all helped the economy implode.
Will the case of Dick Fuld's missing money get any traction? It all centers around the claim that Fuld, the boss at Lehman as the corporate ship was sinking, lied to lawmakers about the salary he was bringing home.
Warren Buffett's apprehension toward derivative reform is interesting, given his past view of this slice of the market.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Given Warren Buffett's knack for making money, it's no wonder that the ears of investors around the globe perk up when he opens his mouth -- but what Buffett says doesn't always coincide with what he does.
During recent months, Buffett has diverged from his teachings several times.
At the end of 2009, Buffett expressed his disapproval for Kraft Foods' (KFT) stock-heavy bid for Cadbury.
The launch of instant coffee Via is only the beginning of an ambitious (but vague) product line for retailers.
That green Starbucks (SBUX) mermaid has long been a staple of cityscapes, airports and strip malls -- but if executives at the coffee company have their way, the logo will become just as prevalent on the shelves of your local grocery store.
Starbucks is making a concerted push into the staples retail marketplace -- starting with a new summer strategy that includes new ice cream flavors. (Check out the complete Starbucks summer menu here!)
Though some stores already carry the company’s coffee beans, this is just the beginning of an ambitious line of products across the next year or two that will put the company’s name on a variety of other foods consumers crave.
The recession just ended, but you can't expect companies to begin bringing employees back just yet.
We want badly to relate the end of a recession to hiring, but unfortunately for the millions of people who are unemployed, it doesn't work that way.
That disconnect is particularly problematic in this recession, with a proximate cause of a total shutdown of the credit markets. Many companies, in order to assure that they had access to the credit markets, had to fire people to show they had the cash flow necessary to get loans.
You can't expect companies, even within a year after firing people, to bring them back on. In fact, the only companies I have seen take that action are companies that furloughed people specifically to bring them back when things got better, a policy that was not widespread.
The history of leading economic indicators shows the recovery is well on its way since the market lows.
Plenty of investors still believe the U.S. economy is still just one shock away from another crash. But a hard look at the data shows that point of view simply doesn't hold water.
Look at the latest bullish housing market data for March -- including stronger permits and sales. Or check out the host of stocks raising dividends now that they're cash-rich once more. The list goes on.
If you're still turning up your nose at talk of the recovery, there's probably little that can be done to change your mind. But if anything will convince even the bearish bear that things aren't so bad, it's a set of charts showing strength in nearly all of the major economic indicators. Take a look:
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[BRIEFING.COM] The Russell 2000 crosssed the 1,000 level for the first time ever today and the S&P 500 established a new all-time, intraday high. Those were some of the more memorable highlights of what was an otherwise nondescript day of trading.
By and large, there just wasn't a lot of conviction on the part of either buyers or sellers. The major indices spent time on either side of the unchanged line, but never put a whole lot of distance between themselves and ... More
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