Geopolitical crises are taking a toll on stocks as we head into the seasonally weak month of August.
- Moody's: RadioShack is running out of cash
The retailer may not have a financial cushion to fund its turnaround plan.
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Model based on Warren Buffett's investment approach high on Exxon Mobil & Wal-Mart
Given that I run a model portfolio based on Warren Buffett's strategy, I take a special interest when the Oracle of Omaha announces new purchases.
My Buffett-inspired model's picks don't always match up with his own buys -- the model focuses on the quantitative aspects of Buffett's approach that were disclosed eight years ago in the book "Buffettology," so non-quantitative factors (as well as possible evolution in Buffett's style since then) can make for some significant differences between my Buffett-based portfolio and Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio.
But there many times when a Berkshire buy will get high marks from my Buffett method, and that makes me sit up and take notice. And that was the case recently, when Berkshire announced its third-quarter holdings.
The disclosure revealed that Berkshire had taken a 1.28 million share stake in energy giant Exxon Mobil (XOM), and that it had almost doubled its stock in retail king Wal-Mart (WMT), adding about 18 million shares. And, according to Validea.com's Buffett-based Guru Strategy, Buffett was wise to do so.
Elizabeth Warren makes a thin connection between the disappearing middle class and the flawed banking industry.
The wages of the average working man have been flat since the 1970s, writes Warrren, a Harvard Law professor who also chairs a Congressional panel overseeing the banking bailouts. But core expenses are going up.
Going to college and finding a good job no longer guarantee economic safety. Paying for a child's education and setting aside enough for a decent retirement have become distant dreams. Tens of millions of once-secure middle class families now live paycheck to paycheck...
Families spend less than they did a generation ago on flexible items, like clothes, furniture and appliances, Warren writes, but that isn't enough to keep many of them out of debt.
Running airports in hot tourist areas south of the border might make Grupo Aeroportuario a profit center, too.
After using my normal filtering process, I ended up with Grupo Aeroportuario (ASR). The company has concessions to manage and operate airports in hot southeastern parts of Mexico like Cancun and Cozumel. Very hot tourist areas with major air traffic from the U.S. and Europe.
ASR has hit 14 new highs in the past 20 trading sessions and in four of the most recent five days. There has been a 34.17% price appreciation in the past 65 days. It's hitting on all cylinders, with BarChart's technical indicators giving 13 out of 13 signals to buy for a 100% buy rating.
Now that Comcast has finalized plans to purchase NBC Universal, we look at the steps the new company must take.
Congratulations, Brian Roberts! You've just bought a $30 billion media conglomerate that includes a legendary movie studio, a huge stake in the potentially revolutionary Hulu and one of the most successful collections of cable programming assets around.
Unfortunately, you also just inherited the NBC broadcast network.
The once-proud Peacock in recent years has become the poster child for people who believe the network TV business model is just a few heartbeats from extinction.
There will be explosive growth in pharmaceuticals, but which one? Look at Idenix Pharmaceuticals.
I'd like to submit Idenix Pharmaceuticals (IDIX) and possibly become the first submitter to be carrying an underperform pick on the same stock in his own profile. The stock is down 26% from my red thumb nearly two years ago, but the S&P is also down 22% and I don't want to close such a longstanding pick without a positive score.
Here's my outperform pitch: After flying almost to 10 in halcyon days before the sun melted its wings, Idenix now trades at an all-time low of 1.84. Novartis declined to license the hepatitis C drug IDX184 despite reasonable proof-of-concept data, and the company has now initiated a phase-two trial without a partner. The stock's continued decline after the Novartis rejection reminds me of a jilted lover, spending a few months in depression before waking up one day and realizing there are other fish in the sea.
Virtually unlimited access to cheap money blurred the lines between what made economic sense and what did not.
Virtually unlimited access to cheap money blurs the lines between what makes economic sense and what doesn't. If something can be financed, it will be built.
Dubai's plan to diversify away from petrochemicals made sense. Maybe it is destined to become the Las Vegas of the Middle East, a mecca of business travel and luxury.
Dubai, however, is like NASA; both have proved that anything is possible when you ignore economic costs. Many technological discoveries were made in the process of putting a man on the moon, but the project did have, and was expected to have, a negative return on capital.
Maxwell Technologies shares drop on disappointing quarterly earnings, but the numbers are encouraging long-term.
I hate it when this happens: A perfectly good growth stock gets adopted by momentum investors.
It soars in the days before the company issues earnings on the hope that the good news already in the stock price will turn into great news in the quarterly report. When it doesn't, the stock crashes as momentum investors move on.
Unfortunately, this could also scare growth investors into selling when they should be hanging on or even buying more. (For coping with this twitch-inducing market, see my Nov. 20 post).
Green Mountain is upping its bid for Diedrich Coffee, but why is the battle so heated? It's all about the K-Cups.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet.com
The battle for Diedrich Coffee heated up after Green Mountain Coffee Roasters sweetened its bid today.
Green Mountain offered to pay up to $290 million, or $35 a share, significantly higher than Peet's Coffee & Tea's bid of $32.50 a share.
The revised agreement also includes a termination fee of $8.5 million to $11.5 million. If the deal is terminated by either party, the fee will be payable to Diedrich, depending on the circumstances.
Among the top 500 retail Web sites, Amazon attracted 15.5% of all visitors, a new report says.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet.com
Amazon was the most-visited Web site on Cyber Monday, according to a new report.
The online retailer received 15.5% of the visits among the top 500 retail Web sites tracked by Experian Hitwise, an analytics firm. Amazon has been the most visited Web site on Cyber Monday since 2006.
Wal-Mart came in second with 9.5% of visits, followed by Target with 5.2%, Best Buy with 3.6% and J.C. Penney with 2.6%.
Alleged Ponzi schemer charged with fraud, authorities trying to recover expensive items purchased.
The disbarred Florida lawyer, who pleaded not guilty to running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme, poured money into hot cars, mansions and luxury boats, prosecutors say.
He allegedly used the money he made to buy 23 properties from Florida to Manhattan as well as a white Lamborghini, a red Ferrari Spider and 304 pieces of jewelry. Officials are also trying to recover his collection of guitars and sports memorabilia.
What's striking about this alleged fraudster is how much he flaunted the money he is charged with scamming from clients.
That's one estimate of the impact of one car crash (and many rumors) on one of the world's top endorsers.
But still, it's hard to avoid the Tiger Woods news this week, and I wonder how much this painful episode will cost him and his sponsors.
Tiger Woods is a major corporation unto himself, with Sports Illustrated estimating he gets nearly $100 million a year from commercial endorsements and other initiatives. The Daily Beast guesses he's made about $1 billion in his career pitching products.
Up to now, Woods has been relatively scandal-free. Will the uncomfortable public revelations -- and the women who claim links to him -- put the pinch on his pitching?
Here's what I expect the numbers will say, what they'll mean for the market and which stocks investors should buy now.
This week, Wall Street is heavily focused on two major reports due Friday. The first is the unemployment report. The second is the nonfarm payroll report. While neither should paint a rosy picture for the current state of the economy, I expect to see "less-bad" numbers that should get investors in the buying mood.
I'll also be keeping a close eye on the average workweek -- we'll get those numbers Friday, too. That figure recently hit a low of 33 hours. As the workweek lengthens, I expect to see more jobs created. The bottom line is that serious job growth is still months away, but the seeds of job creation are firming up.
The struggle to find a replacement for Ken Lewis suggests the company is too complex.
By Glenn Hall, TheStreet.com
Bank of America's failure to find a CEO suggests that the bank really is too large and too complicated to function.
Apparently, some of the CEO prospects have said that very thing -- to their detriment. At least two candidates have been rejected for suggesting that Bank of America needs to be downsized, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bank of America's board apparently wants a Ken Lewis clone.
Maybe the board should consult with its government overseers for some clarification on this point, considering how things have gone for Lewis.
This company seeks cell-based medical therapies that use fat cells instead of embryonic stem cells. Its stock is on a roll.
The stock has hit 14 new highs in the past 20 trading sessions and hit new highs in four of the past five sessions. Price appreciation in the past 65 days has been 100%, and BarChart's technical indicators are hitting 13 out of 13 "buy" signals for a 100% buy rating.
Shares are up on reports that GE will buy Vivendi's stake in NBC Universal, clearing the way for a potential sale to Comcast.
By Dan Freed, TheStreet.com
Comcast's stock advanced 1.9% to $14.94 a share after rising as much as 3% earlier in the day. The gains came amid after several news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, said General Electric had reached an agreement with Vivendi to buy the French conglomerate's 20% stake in NBCU, paving the way for a deal with Comcast.
In Tuesday's trading, Comcast's stock was outpacing shares of Time Warner, Cablevision, News Corp., Walt Disney Company and Time Warner Cable.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market punctuated July with a broad-based retreat that sent the S&P 500 lower by 2.0% with all ten sectors ending in the red. The benchmark index posted a monthly decline of 1.5%, while the Russell 2000 (-2.3%) underperformed to end the month lower by 6.1%.
To get a better feel for what led to today's retreat, we'd like to look back to Wednesday, when the market had ample reason to rally, but did not. Instead, it ended basically flat after a sloppy day of ... More
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