The chain still has quality management and strong retention rates.
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September and October have dark and stormy histories.
By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet
Strap yourselves in. Autumn is upon us.
Both the 1929 and 1987 stock market crashes occurred in October, and don't forget the Dow Jones Industrial Average's ($INDU) 554-point drop in October 1997. The market suffered back-to-back "massacres" in fall 1978 and 1979. And who can forget the panic in autumn 2008, when Lehman Bros. failed in September, followed by equities' biggest monthly point drop ever in October?
Yes, there is good reason to fear the fall. And in case those are not enough, here are a few more.
The charts show a market set to break out, with some shares hitting definitive bottoms and others already taking off.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Is this the bearish investors' last stand? Or just too much enthusiasm in a holiday-addled week?
After an exhaustive look at every chart in the S&P Trendline's Daily Action Charts, my takeaway is that bearish investors will have to push the market back this week, because soon we'll see so many breakouts that the bears will be like Custer. Then it could be all over, and the market could rally 10%.
There's so much on the line for bearish investors who have mauled us every time it looked like we would break out. Right now, given good recent economic data, those bears look surrounded.
A buyout frenzy on Wall Street makes these picks very desirable.
By Louis Navellier, InvestorPlace.com
A 21-month run of rock-bottom interest rates has created a perfect environment for corporate bonds, and as bond yields fall, bond prices rise and investors and companies have made out like bandits.
This has put so much cash in corporate coffers that cash (as a percentage of S&P 500 market capitalization and excluding financials) has soared from just 3% of market value back in 1999 to more than 12.5% today.
This cash is burning a hole in the pockets of many companies, and they are starting to use it to make bids for other companies so they can grab market share and expand on the cheap.
Some of the market's top minds are finding big values in big, high-quality blue chips.
Individual investors remain quite bearish, with the American Association of Individual Investors' latest sentiment survey showing 42% of respondents to be bearish on stocks over the next six months, well above the 30% historical average. But some of the world's most successful investors are finding plenty of value -- and a couple gurus are finding it in the same place: big, high-quality blue chips.
One of them is Whitney Tilson, the money manager and columnist who was one of the few to warn about the housing bubble before it hit. Tilson this week told CNBC that he's seeing some of the best opportunities he's ever seen in big, high-quality blue chip equities. At the same time, he says, a bubble is forming in high-quality bonds. Investors are "seemingly willing to accept any yield no matter how low on safe bonds, like treasuries, for example, and yet they have no interest in the safest blue-chip companies, with the strongest balance sheets," he says. "And the companies are doing quite well, so that's where we're steering our portfolio."
Investors continue to add to their gold positions, and miners like Newmont are outperforming.
At some point in every gold rally, the market flips a switch and gold mining stocks start to outperform gold itself. I think we're at that inflection point now.
Analysts on Wall Street are calling for gold to hit $1,500 an ounce by December 2011. That would be roughly 18% above the record $1,266.50 reached on June 21.
But I think you can do even better in gold stocks during that time, because the operating leverage of gold miners gives you more upside than the metal does. At this point, I'd be looking at the majors such as Barrick Gold (ABX), Goldcorp (GG), and Newmont Mining (NEM), because they have a heavy weighting in the gold ETFs that are a big favorite of investors right now. My pick of the three would be Newmont Mining. (I already own shares of Goldcorp in Jubak's Picks.)
Is the new free Wi-Fi at Starbucks making open tables an endangered species?
Investor Paul Kedrosky uses a term I like: Star-squatters, also known as people-who-sit-at-Starbucks-forever-using-free-Wi-Fi.
"Local Starbucks full of Star-squatters ever since launch of free Wi-fi," Kedrosky wrote on Twitter. "Zero tables/seats. Ever."
The Starbucks (SBUX) near my house is starting to fill up as well, with plenty of open laptops. Sometimes, there isn't even a drink at the table. It makes me wonder: How will Starbucks' free Wi-Fi policy affect its bottom line?
Some machines in Japan have cameras and sensors that analyze your image to offer more-personalized service.
Imagine walking up to a soft-drink machine and having your appearance analyzed. A young woman, for example, could then see advertising for Diet Coke or bottled water.
A man walking up a minute later would have a totally different experience.
That kind of technology is being used in Japan, where vending machines at train stations and other locations tweak their wares to fit a person's gender and age, The Wall Street Journal reports. "The idea is to transform billboards and the like into sophisticated marketing tools that identify and target a specific audience."
These famous blue chips should be sold immediately -- or shorted if you like options trading.
By Louis Navellier, InvestorPlace.com
With the merger war between Dell (DELL) and Hewlett Packard (HPQ) at last drawing to a close with the latest $33-a-share offer from HP for 3par (PAR), tech stocks have really been in focus lately. A spate of mergers and acquisitions has prompted a renewed focus on information technology companies, particularly cloud computing stocks.
However, don't be fooled into thinking that a bunch of big spenders in the technology sector means that all tech picks are doing well. In fact, a number of big-name blue chips in the industry continue to face very difficult roads ahead. Here are five big tech stocks stumbling now.
After 2 consecutive positive quarters, the company might return to the doughnut fore.
By Jonathan Heller, TheStreet
Great doughnuts, however, don't necessarily translate into a great stock. The company went public back in 2000 at $21 per share amid much fanfare, opened at $32 and rose to $37 on the first day of trading. By December of 2001, the share price had quadrupled.
After it topped out in December 2003 in the $49 range, it's been pretty much all downhill since, and this former high flyer now trades around $4.
Shares of Akamai and Netflix have climbed more than 30% since the companies reported 'poor' quarters.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Look at them go, the chosen few: Akamai (AKAM), Netflix (NFLX), Salesforce.com (CRM) and Chipotle (CMG). Four forces of nature. Three are directly involved with pulling things from the Net, and a fourth has the antidote to Burger King's (BKC) growth problems -- good, fresh, natural food. How opposite can that be!
Akamai and Netflix both reported "poor" quarters. Since Akamai reported its horrible, terrible quarter, its stock is up 33%. Akamai's crime at the time? Recognizing that it has secular growth and spending on it.
Netflix's crime? Same as Akamai's: spending for the future, spending on different, non-mail ways to get video to you. The stock has rallied 40% since that self-inflicted crime.
Investors don't expect price drops in iron ore to last long.
It's hard to imagine this happening with any other "product": The price drops 12% for the next quarter, and the stock market essentially shrugs it off.
On a bad day for the market, Aug. 30, when the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index dropped by 1.47%, the shares of the world's biggest producer of this product fell by 1.29%.
And on a good day for the market, Sept. 1, when the S&P 500 jumped by 3%, shares of the largest producer rocketed upward by 5.5% and shares of number two went up 6.1%.
These picks are stable companies with low competition and high yield to reduce your risk in the market's cruelest month.
By Richard Young, InvestorPlace.com
Let me tell you about a group of high-yield dividend stocks called "retirement compounders." These companies are dividend-paying domestic and international stocks that offer high yield but also boast strong balance sheets and a consistent record of annual dividend payments. I favor companies that operate in industries with high barriers to entry, those that possess durable competitive advantages and businesses that are less prone to the volatility of the business cycle.
Shunned and ignored for 5 months, the financial sector sees buyers again.
The financial sector was one of the hardest hit during the recent stock market downturn. The Financial SPDR ETF (XLF), which invests in the likes of Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan (JPM), is down 17.4% from its springtime high. Compare that to the 11% loss for the S&P 500.
There were plenty of reasons for investors to sell. We had the government's case against Goldman Sachs (GS). At home, we had the Dodd-Frank bill, which cut Wall Street's ability to speculate for its own account and reduces the profitability of dealing in derivatives like swaps. Globally, banks will face more stringent capital requirements under the "Basel III" regulations currently being debated. And, of course, we had concerns that a renewed slide for the housing market would result in another round of foreclosures and loan losses.
Apple's new Apple TV announcement drives enthusiasm among Netflix investors.
That's because Netflix came out looking like a major winner with a prominent spot in the new Apple TV device coming out this month. Netflix customers can use Apple TV to access Netflix's growing library of on-demand movies and shows.
"Depending on the fate of Apple's device, the relationship could further establish Netflix as a mainstay in electronics devices that deliver Web content to the living room," writes Nick Wingfield in The Wall Street Journal.
The stock has lagged since the company went public in 2006. McDonald's is a different story.
It's worth noting that before shares jumped on rumor of the buyout, Burger King stock has been anything but royal. Shares of the fast food chain had been down about 6% from when it went public in May of 2006, The New York Times reported.
Compare that with the spectacular rise of McDonald's (MCD), whose shares have soared 111% during that same period.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market experienced a flat finish to an otherwise-forgettable week. The S&P 500 shed less than one point, maintaining its December loss of 1.7%. Small-caps outperformed as the Russell 2000 gained 0.4%, but the index remains lower by 3.1% this month.
Equities registered opening gains, but the early strength faded during the first 30 minutes of action, sending the major averages to their lows. The key indices spent the rest of the morning near their flat lines ... More
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