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Shares of Peet's bounce on rumors of a Starbucks buyout. But should the coffee giant try to acquire its cappuccino-size competitor?

By TheStreet Staff Mar 16, 2011 10:31AM

File photo of Starbucks barista (© Anthony Bolante/Reuters)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.

By InvestorPlace Mar 16, 2011 10:24AM
Credit: (© James H. Collins/AP)
Caption: A Netflix movie begins to download on a home computer screenBy Anthony John Agnello, InvestorPlace.com

 

With more than 20 million subscribers and a business model that has fundamentally altered the movie business, you would think Netflix (NFLX) could rest on its laurels.

 

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.

By Jim Cramer Mar 16, 2011 9:23AM

jim cramerthestreetJapan nuclear disaster. Get used to it. Unrest in North Africa and the Middle East. Get used to it.

 

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.

By Kim Peterson Mar 15, 2011 3:56PM
 © 2010 PepsiCo Inc.Pepsi (PEP) will start testing a bottle made entirely out of plants. Sounds crazy, but the plastic is gaining traction and other bottlers could follow.

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.

By Kim Peterson Mar 15, 2011 2:15PM
Caption: Vehicles are crushed by a collapsed wall at a carpark in Mito city in Ibaraki prefecture on March 11, 2011 after a massive earthquake rocked Japan
 
Credit: JIJI/PRESS/AFP/Getty ImagesThe devastation in Japan has shut down huge segments of the nation's economy, and the impact is being felt across the globe.

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 TheStreet Staff Mar 15, 2011 2:00PM

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.

By MSNMoney partner Mar 15, 2011 12:41PM

Image: Arrow Down (© ImageSource/PictureQuest)Jim Jelter, MarketWatchMarketWatch on MSN Money

 

The economic fear factor spreading from Japan accelerated Tuesday as a growing number of investors worldwide bailed out of markets exposed to what remains a disaster of unknown scope.


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 TheStreet Staff Mar 15, 2011 12:19PM

thestreetBy 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.

By Motley Fool Pick of the Day Mar 15, 2011 11:56AM

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.

By Jim Cramer Mar 15, 2011 9:23AM

jim cramerthestreet

Black swans? I say gold swans. When turmoil is built into the times, you need gold.


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.

By Kim Peterson Mar 14, 2011 3:57PM
Image: Buying gas (© moodboard/Corbis/Corbis)Which retailers get hurt the most by rising gas prices? Wal-Mart (WMT), J.C. Penney, Kohl's (KSS) and Kroger (KR), according to one analyst.

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.

By Kim Peterson Mar 14, 2011 2:41PM

Credit: (© Yasushi Kanno, The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP)
Caption: The Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, JapanUpdated: 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%.

 

The tablet's strong debut drew long lines for short supplies, giving tech investors some encouragement.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 14, 2011 1:51PM

Image: iPad 2 (© 2011 Apple)By Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

Apple's (AAPL) iPad 2 made a strong debut, with widespread sellouts reported.

 

Long lines that started Friday led to sold-out supplies at Apple stores and at many Best Buy (BBY) stores early Saturday, according to analysts and news reports.

 

The rush came early Friday.

 

Online orders were brisk, and iPad 2 availability, starting at two to four days, quickly sold out in the afternoon, with delivery dates moving back to two to three weeks. Apple is now listing three to four weeks as the delivery time.

 

The Japanese carmakers have halted production for several days.

By TheStreet Staff Mar 14, 2011 1:23PM

Caption: Vehicles are crushed by a collapsed wall at a carpark in Mito city in Ibaraki prefecture on March 11, 2011 after a massive earthquake rocked Japan
 
Credit: JIJI/PRESS/AFP/Getty ImagesUpdated: 4:52 p.m. ET

 

By Ted Reed, TheStreet

 

Shares of Toyota (TM) and Honda (HMC) were trading lower Monday over concerns about the impact of the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan.

 

The country's automakers have shut down domestic production as the earthquake triggered supply chain interruptions and power outages and hindered the ability of employees to get to work.

 

Shares of Toyota closed at $81.73, down  4.6%. Shares of Honda fell 4% to $38.17.

 

The former bassist for Guns N' Roses spent 17 years learning about finance. Now he's starting a money management firm.

By Kim Peterson Mar 14, 2011 1:21PM
Credit: (©Matt Sayles/AP)
Caption: Duff McKaganDuff McKagan was a 30-year-old millionaire playing bass for Guns N' Roses. He was more interested in drugs and booze than how to handle his cash, but that all changed after his pancreas burst and he was stuck at home in recovery.

He found a file with six years' worth of the band's financials, and he started reading them, Fortune reports. It was like reading another language; he had no idea how much his band was making (or losing). And he wanted to know more.

Fast-forward 17 years. McKagan has learned so much about money that he's now starting his own wealth management firm with a focus on musicians. The goal, according to Fortune, is to "educate rockers about their finances instead of pandering or lying to them."

It's funny to think of a world-famous rocker taking a community college class, but that's exactly what McKagan did. He studied basic finance at Santa Monica Community College and enrolled in another community college in Seattle. He worked his way up to Seattle University's Albers School of Business, Fortune reports. 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market has languished today, yet it's a stretch to say that sellers have been in total control of the proceedings.

The A/D line at the NYSE favors decliners by a slim 8-to-7 margin; meanwhile, advancers are actually ahead of decliners at the Nasdaq by nearly an 8-to-5 margin.

Those A/D lines pretty much sum things up in the sense that they convey some mixed trading action, which has persisted for most of the day.

Notably, the Russell 2000 is making a ... More


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