The idea of US crude being a shelter from turmoil abroad may not be as far fetched as it seems.
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McDonald's is passing on the higher costs of beef, cheese and other ingredients to its customers
Americans are already feeling the impact of higher gas prices. But the next time they have a Big Mac attack, consumers may have to suffer the same sticker shock they now get when they pull up to the pump.
That's because McDonalds Corp.'s (MCD) is seeing inflation push up the costs of ingredients like Big Mac beef, cheeseburger cheese and McCafe coffee beans.
As a result, the world's largest fast-food chain said it will raise prices to keep up with food inflation.
The price increases won't be steep, at least not in the United States. Sensitive to the higher prices that Americans are facing at the gasoline pump, grocery store and everywhere else they have to open their wallets, McDonalds says it will absorb some of the initial costs by gradually raising prices to recoup the 4% to 4.5% cost of food increases.
The miner uncovers a higher grade of ore in Indonesia, accelerating production and giving some relief to worries about rising costs.
The Bratz line, which has deeply hurt Barbie sales, does not belong to Mattel, a jury decides.
Barbie maker Mattel (MAT) got smacked down by a federal jury today, and was ordered to pay $88.5 million to rival MGA Entertainment in a dispute over the Bratz line.
In what's being called a stunning decision, the jury told Mattel that it does not own the Bratz dolls. The legal battle has been going since 2004, and one analyst said today that Mattel's failure to settle was a "tremendously bad decision" by management.
Post continues after this news report about the jury's decision:
As inflation takes its toll on consumers and the trade balance, GDP growth could be disappointing.
One year ago, all was right in the world. Jobs were being created. Annualized GDP growth averaged an impressive 4.4% between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. The Federal Reserve even felt confident enough to allow its first round of quantitative easing to expire.
Then we had a growth scare as risky assets tumbled in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis and the Greek bailout. As a result, GDP growth slowed to just 1.7% in the second quarter amid talk of a double-dip recession.
History is repeating itself. The Fed's QE2 program is about to end. The eurozone crisis is heating up, with Greece on the verge of a debt default/restructuring. And now we have fiscal austerity and inflationary pressure -- side effects of all the stimuli used to juice the economy. I think the stage is set for another slowdown in the months to come. Indeed, by some estimates, the economy may already be shrinking.
This company has growth in sales and earnings, so I'm adding its stock to my Wall Street Survivor portfolio.
I was looking at stocks that have had and are expected to have double-digit growth in sales and earnings and are currently having positive price momentum as measured by Barchart technical indicators.
I found Gildan Activewear (GIL), a company that has over 60% market share in its niche. It makes the blank T-shirts and sweat shirts that all the other companies print on. The sales, earnings and price appreciation have been great.
Nearly all of the purchases from our recent Buffett-style portfolio are paying off nicely. Now it's time to adjust stops to lock in profits.
The market hasn't quite caught up with this opportunity.
By Jim Mueller
The Messed-Up Expectation methodology I'm following with my Rising Star portfolio is working. In that portfolio, I'm looking for companies at prices reflecting growth expectations that are lower than what they're likely capable of, and getting high returns when the market corrects its mistake.
I believe I've found another candidate in Hertz Global Holdings (HTZ).
O.J. Simpson loved this company
Hertz is the second largest U.S. car rental company, behind privately held Enterprise Holdings (which includes Alamo, Enterprise, and National) and ahead of Avis Budget Group (CAR) and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG).
Retail is in recovery, so I'm adding BBBY to hlep my portfolio recover.
I try not to be an impulse shopper, but as I wander the store I sometimes find bargains I didn't expect and can't pass up. Today I can't pass up the stock.
Same-store sales are up 7% year over year. The company is on target to add 40 new stores this year and another 40 to 50 next year. Margin squeezes have been offset by savings in SG&A so I think this looks like a well managed company. The price is on a roll.
Berkshire Hathaway lacks a valuable revenue source now that Goldman Sachs has bought back $5.5 billion in preferred shares.
Warren Buffett made the news during this shortened week after it was announced that Goldman Sachs (GS) had bought back the $5.5 billion in preferred shares it sold to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) during the dire depths of the financial crisis.
In the midst of the credit mess, as Lehman Bros. was collapsing and Merrill Lynch was going through an emergency takeover, Goldman Sachs sought help from Buffett. Given his positive outlook for the U.S., the Oracle of Omaha was willing to step in and provide Goldman with a $5 billion fund to save the company from ruin.
The deal came with conditions. In return for the funding, Buffett received preferred shares that promised a 10% annual dividend and warrants to purchase $5 billion in Goldman common stock at $115 per share.
Why settle for streaming only 1 movie when you can watch multiple shows at once on your phone, TV and video game console?
By Anthony John Agnello, Consumer and Technology Writer
As Netflix (NFLX) has grown dramatically over the past two years, analysts and industry pundits have wondered repeatedly when the streaming video company would hit a glass ceiling: No way could Netflix shares pass $200. No way could the company's subscriber base reach 20 million. No way could it continue to sign new content partners.
Well, Netflix has met and surpassed all of those hurdles, but even now it is facing new challenges. How will it fend off new competitors and keep growing its membership at a breakneck pace?
The answer may have arrived. Netflix offered a preview of its future strategy earlier this week, announcing it will begin offering "family plan" subscription packages later this year.
Gold is not an investment, and gold is not contrarian. And its value is not bulletproof.
Gold prices topped $1,500 per ounce this week, days after Standard & Poor's roiled the equity and bond markets by lowering its outlook on the AAA credit rating of the U.S. government.
After a decade in which stocks went nowhere and the U.S. dollar lost value to every world currency except the Zimbabwean dollar, many Americans are ready to give up on the entire system. Quite a few already have.
But frankly, gold today is as risky as tech stocks in 1999 and Miami condos in 2005, and the arguments supporting its rise are every bit as flimsy. Here are the three biggest myths about gold that will pop the current bubble:
Peabody's share price could pull back as concerns rise about slowing growth in China.
The company performs well in the first quarter despite challenges from rising commodity costs and foreign-exchange rates.
The U.S. Treasury owns 500 million shares of General Motors, and is tired of waiting for the share price to rise.
The U.S. Treasury still owns about 500 million shares after the $50 billion rescue of the company in 2009. It would need to sell those shares at $53 apiece just to break even on its investment.
But GM's share price is nowhere near that amount. The stock hit a new low this week and is at about $30 today, down 19% year-to-date. The way fuel prices are moving, the chance of that stock hitting the $53 mark anytime soon are nil.
The government is likely just going to sell the stock at a loss to taxpayers, The Wall Street Journal reports. At GM's current price, taxpayers would lose at least $11 billion if the government sold its entire stake. But hey, what's another $11 billion to a government bleeding so much red it could pass for an extra on "Saw 3D"?
The company changes its business model to let fan response determine ticket prices. Will it work? With video interview.
Now Ticketmaster says it will adjust the price of sports and concert tickets according to demand. If shrieking girls can't get enough of a certain floppy-haired teen idol, for example, ticket prices will go up. But if, say, Rebecca Black launches a nationwide tour to slow demand, her ticket prices will drop.
It's a fundamental change to the traditional model for Ticketmaster, a division of Live Nation Entertainment (LYV). In the past, Ticketmaster worked with artists to set tickets at specific prices, and those prices didn't really change.
Post continues after this interview with Ticketmaster about the new pricing:
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New rumors don’t change my view: GM will have two different plug-in electric car platforms in the next one to three years.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (+0.1%) hovers right above its flat line with seven sectors sporting gains.
Market participants received just one economic data point today (June Pending Home Sales -1.1%), but the rest of the week will bring a full slate of data. Tomorrow, the Case-Shiller 20-city Index (Briefing.com consensus 10.0%) will be released at 9:00 ET, while the July Consumer Confidence report (consensus 85.6) will cross the wires at 10:00 ET.
As the week progresses, ... More
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