Since she joined in July 2012, CEO Marissa Mayer has acquired dozens of startups.
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These companies count on the quake-stricken nation for a portion of their sales and will likely see revenue fall this year.
Aflac (AFL), the health and life insurance company, does 75% of its business in Japan. It sells a popular line of cancer insurance there, The New York Times reports. In the past five days of trading, the stock has dropped from $56 to $50.56.
"The market is looking at everything that's exposed to Japan, and we're part of that," an Aflac spokeswoman told the newspaper. Maybe that's why the company reacted so harshly to Gilbert Gottfried's crude Twitter jokes about Japan's earthquakes and tsunami, firing the comedian from his role as the voice of Aflac's duck mascot.
Other U.S. companies are exposed to Japan, though not to Aflac's extent. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has compiled a list of the top 10 Japan-exposed S&P 500 companies, according to Business Insider. See the list below.
While you can't create your own Berkshire, you can imitate its philosophy.
According to the latest from Forbes, Warren Buffett is the third-richest man in the world, with a net worth of $50 billion. About 90% of his wealth is in Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) stock, a diverse holding company that has catapulted from $6,800 a share in 1991 to a whopping $127,600.
So how can you invest like Buffett? While you can't create your own Berkshire, you can imitate its philosophy with three mutual funds.
Don Yacktman is one of the best money managers on Wall Street. The Yacktman Fund (YACKX) has clocked average annual returns of 14.16% for the past three years and 11.84 for the past decade.
Despite billions in initial losses, Berkshire Hathaway may emerge unscathed.
By Dan Freed, TheStreet
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) may ultimately come out unscathed from the earthquake and nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan despite initial losses of $2.5 billion on stocks and derivatives and too-early-to-quantify insurance and reinsurance claims.
Buffett also has significant investment stakes in Swiss Re and another reinsurer with large Japanese earthquake exposure, Munich Re.
Shares of all those companies have lost ground since Japan's earthquake struck on Friday. Shares of RenaissanceRe Holdings (RNR), however, have actually gained since the quake struck.
Shares of Peet's bounce on rumors of a Starbucks buyout. But should the coffee giant try to acquire its cappuccino-size competitor?
By Miriam Reimer, TheStreet
Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET
Peet's Coffee & Tea (PEET) shares plunged last week after Starbucks (SBUX) and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) announced a long-anticipated partnership. But the coffee roaster and specialty retailer's stock has soared amid rumors that Starbucks could be looking to take it over.
Peet's shares surged 9.4% Tuesday and continued to climb 2.2% Wednesday, to $47.03, amid rumors it could be a takeover target of Starbucks. The stock had plunged 11.4% Thursday, the day Starbucks and Green Mountain announced a deal in which Starbucks and Tazo tea-branded K-Cup portion packs will be available for Green Mountain's popular Keurig single-cup brewing systems later this year. Investors were clearly disappointed that Emeryville, Calif., Peet's had been left out of the lucrative partnership.
A new $100 million series could star Kevin Spacey.
Netflix stock is up 200% in the past year, while Blockbuster is dead. What more does the streaming video giant want?
Apparently it wants not just to dominate home movie viewing but to flex its muscle with regular television programming. At least that appears to be the case, as Netflix has started making its own shows.
It's a dramatic move for Netflix, especially considering Coinstar (CSTR) and its brand Redbox is pushing into streaming video to challenge Netflix -- not to mention Facebook entering streaming video and Amazon.com (AMZN) offering Amazon Prime video services. Apparently Netflix is more concerned with gaining more turf than defending what it has.
The world's crises are the new operative backdrop. If you can handle the heat, trade stocks that have nothing to do with the Middle East, oil or Japan.
You will hear this phrase endlessly with regard to both of these situations: "Bad to worse." Again, get used to it.
You will hear that the nukes have to "blow" and spew radiation everywhere in intense doses. You will hear that oil shipments will be suspended imminently." Get used to it. You will hear that everything is going wrong for stocks because of these crises and that nothing can be done other than to take losses, sell or short. Get used to it.
You will hear that "panic" -- as in "Get out now to get liquid" -- is the operative strategy. Get used to it.
Why do we have to get used to it?
Ideally, the new plastic would be made of leftover agricultural waste. For now, it can't be recycled.
The bottle is made from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and other materials, The Associated Press reports. And Pepsi is working on ways to include leftovers from its food business, including orange peels, potato scraps and oat hulls.
No, the bottle won't taste like pine trees or Fritos. Pepsi says it looks and feels exactly the same as existing bottles. It does the same job of protecting the drink inside.
Pepsi appears a lot further along on this innovation than Coca-Cola (KO). Coke makes a bottle with 30% plant-based plastic and doesn't plan on going 100% anytime soon. "For the next five to 10 years we don't see biodegradable plastics as an option for our bottles," said a Coca-Cola executive in 2009, according to PlasticsToday.com.
In our global economy, the quake devastation will affect us all in big and small ways.
When the world's third-biggest economy goes off-line for what may be weeks, the ripple effect hits everyone. Japan's exports are at a standstill. Manufacturing has taken a huge hit. The auto industry is in upheaval. Panic selling on Tokyo's stock exchange is hammering markets worldwide.
For better or worse, the global economy has tied us all together in ways our grandparents could hardly imagine. And that's fine in good times -- the U.S. and particularly China have seen gangbuster growth as a result -- but in bad times we all get sucked in.
Here are some major ways that Japan's crisis could affect the world:
The automaker said it has suspended overtime at its American plants, which get about 20% of their components from suppliers in Japan.
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
Fears of parts shortages are impacting Japanese auto assembly plants in the U.S.
Automotive News reported Tuesday that while Japanese-owned assembly plants in North America are maintaining normal production schedules, assessment teams are evaluating the damage to global supply lines.
"Suspecting that parts shortages will soon become a reality, some automakers immediately trimmed overtime production to conserve parts," the publication said. In particular, Toyota (TM) has suspended overtime production at its North American plants, which get about 20% of their components from suppliers in Japan.
World traders react to a fourth day of turmoil in Japan.
Jim Jelter, MarketWatch
Japan's Nikkei fell nearly 11%, Germany's DAX was off 4%, and at one point during early trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down nearly 300 points.
All of these declines were worse than what we saw Monday, and Monday was pretty bad.
Why the delayed reaction? It sounds trite given the circumstances, but it's nevertheless true: Markets hate uncertainty. And right now, uncertainty defines the situation facing Japan, the world's third largest economy.
Shares of General Electric extend their losses, while alternative-energy stocks rally.
By Andrea Tse, TheStreet
General Electric (GE) shares were falling for a second day despite the company's efforts to defend the nuclear reactor it designed for Tokyo Electric Power Co. that has suffered several explosions since last week's earthquake and tsunami.
GE created the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi power plant. Japan has been trying to cool the reactors to prevent a meltdown after three explosions in recent days that have released radiation.
GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy Spokesman Michael Tetuan told the Wall Street Journal that the reactor had delivered safe service for more than 40 years. He called the reactor the "industry's workhorse" and said there had never been a breach of the reactor's containment system.
Shares of GE were falling 2.5% to $19.42, while its nuclear venture partner Hitachi (HIT) was losing 5.8% to $47.06.
Getting behind the wheel of a beaten-down, big moat company.
Bryan Hinmon first wrote about Landstar in September. The stock is up nicely since then, but he still sees it as undervalued. Climb aboard!
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks Editor
Landstar System (LSTR) is a trucker's best friend, providing the platform to make sure small-time truck drivers have access to cargo to keep their big rigs filled. The stock is still being held down by uncertainty surrounding new trucking regulations -- unfairly so in my opinion -- so I'm getting behind the wheel and putting 5% of the Un Portfolio's capital into gear.
Going shopping for cargo
Even though Landstar is a transportation company, it doesn't own any trucks. Instead, it operates an online market where its sales agents can upload information on loads of cargo that need to be delivered. Truckers looking for work can log on and find a load that suits their eye, route, and capacity.
When markets are gripped by crisis and inflation is on the horizon, it's your only choice.
Look around the world right now. First, we have a nascent cold war with Iran. The Iranians are playing the exact same role the Soviets did in another era. They are exporting terror and unrest with an eye toward overthrowing or converting our allies while trying to build a nuclear bomb. We have not even realized yet that we have to contain them, but we will.
Second, the U.S. could get cut off from Middle Eastern energy at any moment. And that would be highly inflationary -- reason three to own gold.
Reason four: We know that there is nothing we can do about this deficit of ours. No one has the political will to take it on. That means the dollar printing press will be operating for a long time.
Studies show that retailers favored by lower-income households will get squeezed more by high gas prices and continued unemployment.
And which retailers aren't as vulnerable to changes at the pump? Costco (COST), Macy's (M) and BJ's Wholesale Club (BJ).
The reason is because poorer families in America are hurt more by gas price hikes and high unemployment levels, Bloomberg reports. And poorer families prefer to shop at Wal-Mart, one analyst says.
The analyst, Richard Hastings of Global Hunter Securities, studied the income levels of shoppers and found that 82% of Wal-Mart shoppers make less than $75,000 a year. That compares with 63% of BJ's shoppers and 55% of Costco members that make less than $75,000 a year.
Nuclear power is under scrutiny as Japanese reactors overheat, leading some investors to take a new look at solar stocks.
Updated: 4:49 p.m. ET
Uranium stocks are getting killed today, and alternative energy is seeing renewed interest.
Look at the list of the biggest losers in the U.S. market. At the top is Uranium Resources (URRE), followed by Ur Energy (URG) and Uranium Energy (UEC). All three stocks are down more than 19%.
These stocks had great momentum heading into this month. Countries around the world had been planning new fleets of nuclear power stations, Dow Jones reports. But after several Japanese reactors overheated, with uranium rods likely melting at a third facility, investors fear the world may be rethinking those nuclear plans.
Other uranium stocks getting hit today include Cameco (CCJ), the largest publicly traded uranium miner, down 12.7%. Denison Mines (DNN) is down 22.5%, Uranium One(SXRZF) plunged 27.9%, and Bannerman Resources (BNNLF) was off 29.6%.
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John Stumpf acknowledges that growth has been slow, but he says he's still optimistic.
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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +1.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +1.70. U.S. equity futures display modest gains after spending the bulk of the overnight session in negative territory. The S&P 500 futures trade higher by 0.1%. Among news of note, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have reached a budget agreement that would avoid another government shutdown. However, the plan still needs to be approved by both chambers of Congress.
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