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Be wary of dire market forecasts

The most likely scenario is that the markets will begin to rise from here -- and that bounce is just beginning to take hold.

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Shares tumble after the clothing retailer reveals it might not make it through the year.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 17, 2010 2:24PM

the streetBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

American Apparel's (APP) stock is taking a bloodbath after the clothier warned that its dwindling liquidity may not be enough to sustain it through the year.

 

The company said Tuesday that it may be unable to repay a loan due in September and that it is in talks with creditors. As of the end of the second quarter, its debt rose 32% to $120.3 million.

American Apparel said it would delay its second-quarter earnings report after its accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche, resigned last month. The company found a new auditor, Marcum, but said Tuesday that it has received a federal subpoena related to the switch.

 

Shares were plunging 22.3% Tuesday to $1.08 shortly before the market close and have fallen more than 60% in the past three months.

 

The company is well-positioned to supply industrial gases to growing economies.

By Jim Van Meerten Aug 17, 2010 1:56PM
I've got four reasons to add Praxair (PX) to my Wall Street Survivor portfolio, but the biggest reason I like this stock is that the company is already positioned to supply industrial gases to growing economies. It is established -- with customers in China, India and Germany -- and is the second-largest in its industry, with 26,000 employees.

Praxair mainly produces atmospheric and process gases, but it also makes metallic and ceramic coatings and powders. Another segment of the company builds equipment to make industrial gases.

Wall Street analysts are high on this stock, with 14 buy recommendations published based on projections of sales increases of 12.7% this year and 8.3% next year.
 

Research In Motion's new phone has sputtered out of the gate, giving rise to rumors of price cuts.

By Kim Peterson Aug 17, 2010 1:18PM

BlackBerry Torch. Credit: © 2010 Research In Motion LimitedWell, well, looks like we have some updating to do here. There were many reports today -- here and on other sites -- that Amazon(AMZN) and other retailers had cut the price of the BlackBerry Torch in half.

As it turns out, Amazon had been selling the Torch for $99.99 all along. (The phone still costs $199.99 on AT&T's site.) The online retailer tends to deeply discount some devices at launch, perhaps as a way of attracting buyers to its service plans (Amazon gets a commission from AT&T for selling plans, a source told The Wall Street Journal).

The Amazon-chops-Torch-price story got picked up, I think, because it followed days of analysts offering dire predictions about the way the phone has been selling. That led to more doubts about the future of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIMM).

 

Despite dramatic discounts, sales at the world's biggest retailer have fallen for the fifth straight quarter.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 17, 2010 12:19PM

business news from thestreetArrow © Cory Docken/JupiterimagesBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

Wal-Mart (WMT) reported its fifth straight quarter of U.S. sales declines, leaving investors to ask how the discount behemoth plans to regain shoppers.

 

While the world's largest retailer forecasts between a 2% decline and a 1% increase for third-quarter same-store sales, exactly how it plans to return to positive sales territory remains unclear.

 

There's no denying that the aggressive rollbacks put in place during the quarter didn't generate the traffic Wal-Mart expected.

 

The latest report from Berkshire holdings shows the Oracle of Omaha boosting stakes in several companies and adding a new one.

By InvestorPlace Aug 17, 2010 11:40AM

Credit: (© Paul White/AP)
Caption: Warren BuffettBerkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) revealed its latest quarterly holdings report this week, with stocks of record as of the market close on June 30. Though many positions remain unchanged, there are some notable moves from billionaire Warren Buffett.

 

Buffett and Berkshire are watched closely by many investors, so to make things easier, here is a list of BRK stock holdings that have seen increases as of the latest report:

 

This quartet of laggards could take off again with better management.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 17, 2010 10:57AM

thestreet.comBy Stockpickr at TheStreet

 

Two "old world" companies recently reported great earnings. I am talking about Macy's (M) and Walt Disney (DIS). Both supposedly "didn't get it" a few years ago.

 

They were assumed to be dying and soon to be dead. Digitalization of media and e-commerce were supposed to be their death knell. Both companies depend highly on discretionary consumer spending. Disney relies on vacation travel, both domestic and international. Macy's is neither luxury nor discount, left with a diminishing consumer base in the middle.

 

Not so fast.

 

No one wants to say it out loud, but many investors see a silver lining in all the negative economic stats: changes in Washington.

By Jim Cramer Aug 17, 2010 8:37AM

the streetBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Has "bad" turned good? Are we now rooting for crummy housing numbers, weaker consumer confidence and, yes, unfathomably horrible employment numbers? Do we now secretly lust for negative numbers?

 

Maybe that depends on who "we" is. If you are an American business person, no, absolutely not. You're not rooting for negative numbers. You want your business to thrive. Of course you want to make more money. It's what you do.

 

But if you are an owner of stock, any stock, if you are using the stock market for retirement or for savings to put your kid through school or to augment your paycheck, I think you are now beginning to see the silver lining of the miserable economic news: change in Washington.

 

Is it another bad sign for the markets -- or just hocus pocus?

By Jamie Dlugosch Aug 16, 2010 4:28PM

It turns out I'm not the only one predicting doom and gloom for the markets in September.

 

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the Hindenburg Omen, a technical gauge said to be predictive of a stock market crash.

 

Developed by a blind mathematician in 1995 and named after the horrific dirigible crash of the early 1900s, the Hindenburg Omen uses a confluence of data including 52-week market highs and lows to predict activity.

The indicator has a 25% success rate in predicting market crashes. We should all be concerned then when the signal flashes red lights, as it did last week.

 

Will the Hindenburg result in the market bursting into flames this go-around?

 
Tags: ETF

The company wants to fly people from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station.

By Kim Peterson Aug 16, 2010 4:06PM

Boeing (BA) is getting into the taxi business -- space taxis, that is.

The company wants to fly space taxis from Cape Canaveral to the International Space Station by 2015, according to USA Today. The spacecraft may even fly to a commercial space station that a company named Bigelow Aerospace is developing.

Boeing is seizing the opportunity created after NASA said it would shut down its shuttle program next year. When that program goes, an estimated 20,000 total jobs are expected to be lost -- including 8,000 at the Kennedy Space Center, USA Today reports.

 

Research In Motion shares drop after analyst checks show the new Torch isn't selling out.

By Kim Peterson Aug 16, 2010 2:37PM

BlackBerry Torch. Credit: © 2010 Research In Motion LimitedUpdated at 7:23 p.m. ET

 

Shares of Research In Motion (RIMM) were down 4.8% today after news that the company's newest weapon in the smart-phone wars may not be selling well.

The BlackBerry Torch began selling last Thursday, and the response has been underwhelming, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. Calls to retailers found that most stores had not sold out.

Compare that to Apple's newest iPhone and the recently released Droid X, which sold out immediately after launch. Another problem that the analysts found is that most of the people who did buy the Torch were already BlackBerry users.

 

The mega-retailer has been raising prices faster than mainstream grocery stores, losing some of its discount lead.

By Kim Peterson Aug 16, 2010 2:00PM

Wal-Mart logo © WalmartWal-Mart (WMT) has been quietly raising its prices, giving little weight to fears that shoppers may have less spending money if deflation takes hold.

A recent study by JPMorgan Securities found that the mega-retailer has upped prices by nearly 6% over the last six weeks, according to The New York Post.

Analysts studied pricing at a Wal-Mart supercenter in Virginia, and found that a 32-ounce bottle of Windex, for example, saw an increase from $1.97 to $2.97. A 12-ounce box of Quaker Oats saw a 65% increase, and the price of a container of Tide detergent jumped 50%.

 

The $1.15 billion acquisition might open the door to new cloud computing revenue.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 16, 2010 10:52AM

business news from the streetBy James Rogers, TheStreet

 

Dell's (DELL) $1.15 billion acquisition of digital storage specialist 3Par (PAR) could be a shrewd move, opening the door to new cloud computing revenue.

 

Long touted as attractive acquisition bait, 3Par is seen as well-positioned for the shift toward cloud computing, which will force users to drive more efficiency out of their servers and storage. 3Par is a pioneer in thin provisioning technology, which allocates storage only when it is needed in an attempt to boost utilization rates.

 

The Fremont, Calif., storage specialist, which competes with EMC (EMC) and IBM (IBM), lists Verizon (VZ), Savvis (SVVS), Credit Suisse (CS) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) among its customers.

 

Semiconductors may make the best bounce this week, but investors will also be watching the currency, gold and Treasury markets.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 16, 2010 10:22AM

the streetBy Don Dion, TheStreet

 

ETF investors will be waiting anxiously to see which way the currency, microchip, gold and Treasury markets bounce. Here are five exchange-traded funds that should react to those movements in the days ahead.

 

1. Currencyshares Euro Trust (FXE)

 

The clock may be ticking for Europe. Sovereign and banking debt still looms over the continent, despite the efforts of the European Central Bank to shore up the system. Much of the recent optimism was tied to the rally in the euro, but as the currency slid lower, talk of Europe's problems starting popping up again.

 

On a weekly basis, only the declines in the first two weeks of May were larger than last week's selloff in FXE, during 2010.

 

Prospects of a fall IPO mean the company needs to boost profits with either more advertising or a subscription fee.

By InvestorPlace Aug 16, 2010 9:02AM

Online shopping © John Lund/JupiterimagesBy Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com


Fans of "Glee," "Family Guy" and "30 Rock"haveflocked to online TV portal Hulu to watch the latest episodes whenever they please. But if grumblings in the investment world are true, that access will come with a bigger price very soon.

 

Hulu appears to be working its way toward a public offering of stock according to The New York Times,and industry experts speculate the push to raise nearly $2 billion as early as this fall isn't to beef up programming or boost bandwidth. Rather, the move is likely to fund one of two things -- the implementation of a subscription service that charges the Internet audience, or a push to put more ads in content to boost profits.

 

Getting serious about new employment will mean compromising the agenda.

By Jim Cramer Aug 16, 2010 8:58AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

No urgency. We never hear any urgency from this president when it comes to jobs. You want to know how to get those jobless claims down? Here we go:

 

1. President Barack Obama needs to go to the Gulf and say: OK, we need some compromise here. We know that we had an outlier in BP (BP), but we need to keep America on the move and hire people.

 

2. We need to get domestic in our fuel, and that doesn’t just mean coal. We have abundant natural gas; we just have to get it to the right places. So we need to put people to work building pipelines, just like in the 1930s. We need to allow fracking and encourage drilling safely, because it will create hundreds of thousands of jobs. We have to accept that the perfect is the enemy of the good, and as much as we like solar and wind and conservation, we need to compromise.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


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