Once you get past the hype, there's little chance for long-term gain with this stock.
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Inventories were down in December, calming fears about the strength of the recovery.
And now for a break from the euro and the Greece bailout rumor fest. (For more on Tuesday's euro bounce, see this earlier post.)
There's real news on the U.S. economy, and it's very good news indeed. Inventories at U.S. wholesalers dropped in December, according to data released by the Commerce Department (guess somebody made it in through the snow down there).
That was an unexpected fall. Economists were expecting that inventories would climb in December.
1 has posted an 18% increase this year, while the S&P 500 Index has fallen 5%.
By Philip van Doorn, TheStreet
Investors usually must choose between stock-price growth and big dividends.
But a select group of small banks has seen their shares jump, with one posting an 18% increase this year while the S&P 500 Index ($INX) has fallen 5%. Another is paying a dividend almost twice as high as the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond yield.
Following an earlier look at three bank stocks with outsized dividends in November, this expanded list features more conservative measures and excludes companies whose dividend payouts exceeded their 2009 net income. We also left out current participants in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Here are the banks:
The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue hits newsstands today, and readers aren't the only ones excited about its debut.
As cultural phenomena go, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue gets vastly more ink than it spends, and it has done so for some 45 years.
Time Warner (TWX), the owner of Sports Illustrated, is said to rake in 7% of its total ad revenue for the year from this single issue of the magazine.
As with all things print, the focus is on advertising revenue, and this issue of the magazine does its job. Ad pages are the same as a year ago, as major advertisers have once more bought a significant amount of advertising to surround the beautiful women in their teeny bikinis.
The swimsuit issue will certainly boost Time Warner's first quarter 2010 numbers. And those numbers could use some help.
The list shows confidence in the consumer. Homebuilders also get some love.
The latest numbers show that 305 stocks in the S&P 500 are oversold, while only 25 are overbought, according to Bespoke Investment Group. (In this case, oversold and overbought mean stocks that are more than one standard deviation from their 50-day moving averages.)
Bespoke looked for trends among the 25 overbought stocks, the ones that have risen too far too fast and are in danger of crashing. They found many consumer plays, showing the market is feeling much better about the consumer compared with a year ago.
The beverage company's fourth-quarter profit rises 55%, boosted by sales in China and India.
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet
Coca-Cola (KO) reported fourth-quarter earnings that were in line with analysts’ estimates as international sales soared.
Coca-Cola said earnings rose 55% to $1.54 billion, or 66 cents a share, from $995 million, or 43 cents, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a 66-cent profit.
Case volume in the quarter rose 5%. In emerging markets such as China and India, unit case volume rose 29% and 20%, respectively. The company also achieved 12% unit case volume growth in 118 countries where per capita consumption of Coca-Cola products is less than 150 8-ounce servings per year.
The US Treasury loses its entire $2.33 billion TARP investment in CIT Group -- the largest TARP loss to date.
By Dan Freed, TheStreet
The Treasury made the investment in CIT in December 2008, but CIT later ran into trouble after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. refused to guarantee its debt, as the FDIC did for larger lenders, including General Electric (GE) and large banks like Citigroup (C), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC). CIT filed for bankruptcy protection on Nov. 1, reorganizing and returning to a public listing on Dec. 10.
Contrary to what many assumed, the bankruptcy filing did not extinguish all hope for a taxpayer recovery. The Treasury and other preferred shareholders received complex securities called contingent value rights (CVRs), which could have been worth something if CIT Group's stock had reached the mid-50s ahead of Monday's session, according to the estimate of another investor who held CVRs.
Stocks have become playthings for forces that have nothing to do with fundamentals or prospects.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
So, the shorts cover their positions in anticipation of a deal with Greece -- what you see on your screen now. The moment the deal occurs then the shorts get put on again as we play dominoes and we go after Portugal or Spain or Italy.
This is investing in 2010 -- break the stimulating countries. It is too easy not to. What's going to happen? A big rally?
Do you think that with these budget deficits there isn't going to be a story every single day that can send an inter-linked market down?
The coffee king is taking a page from the Tea Party focusing on grass roots and local tastes. The strategy is working.
The upstart, grassroots based Tea Party hosted its first convention this past weekend. Its most notable speaker, Sarah Palin, urged the movement to stay true to its core by remaining leaderless.
Without a key figurehead, the movement can remain nimble and local.
Interestingly, certain business lessons can be learned by following the lead of the Tea Party. Specifically, Starbucks (SBUX) and its founder Howard Schultz are invoking the same advice in efforts to revive the global leader in retail coffee.
“We lost our way,” Schultz says in describing the difficulties of the company. In order to get back on track the company is returning to its days of entrepreneurial spirit.
That spirit allows Starbucks to react quickly to changing local tastes and needs. (As a result Starbucks recently beat earnings estimates. Here are 10 stocks likely to do the same)
Evidence suggests the economic recovery is gaining traction.
Although it probably doesn't feel like it, especially for the 8.4 million souls that have lost a job since the recession started back in 2007, the job market has started to heal. After peaking at 10.2% in October, the unemployment rate has fallen to 9.7%. Sure, some of the drop is a reflection of the large number of people that have left the work force over the last two years. And businesses still reported that payrolls fell by another 20,000 positions last month.
But according to Deutsche Bank economists, the unemployment rate (calculated from a survey of households) has a very strong record of predicting job market turnarounds. This is because it can capture job creation from small business startups that isn't reflected in the payroll data. And small businesses are the powerhouses of any early economic expansion.
There are more signs of strength. The manufacturing sector added jobs last month for the first time in three years. Temporary hiring continued to expand. Work hours increased at the fastest rate since mid-2007. So the obvious question is: Can these gains continue?
Are the euro's troubles and China's lending problems tied up in the same crisis? Whatever the answer, the US is still the wild card.
One crisis or two?
How you answer that question will go a long way to determining your investment strategy right now.
If the euro crisis and the bank lending crisis in China are all part of the same crisis, you should stay out of all equity markets until the world works through this mess. (Enjoy your vacation. See you in September.)
If, however, the euro crisis and the bank lending crisis in China are coincidentally but not causally related
Central bank actions in India could pull the banking sector down. This may be a time to jump in.
At the end of January the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, held a conference call for analysts and investors.
The message: The bank is worried about continued growth in government borrowing and strong demand for loans from the commercial sector. And that the bank will move to reduce excess liquidity in the banking sector before it leads to rising expectations for higher inflation.
Look out Indian banks, higher interest rates ahead.
I’d be surprised if Indian bank stocks didn’t retreat
Controversial banking exec John Thain to lead struggling lender CIT Group. Do two wrongs make a right here?
John Thain became a poster boy for banker excesses as the economy went south. As the former head of Merrill Lynch, he asked for a $10 million bonus even after his company went off the rails. He spent $1.2 million in company money decorating his office with with an $87,000 rug and other indulgences.
And CIT Group? The business lender recently came out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, in which it erased some $10 billion in debt -- including $2.3 billion in government aid.
Now, Thain will become CIT's chairman and chief executive.
Investors could easily double their money in 2010 as this global battle for customers and profits takes shape.
By Robert Hsu, InvestorPlace.com
Because the yuan is pegged to the dollar, Chinese outsourcing becomes cheaper as the U.S. dollar falls. It's this dollar-based competitive advantage that has provoked Indian companies to slash costs and profit margins to remain competitive, especially in the tech sector. And Chinese companies now have responded by ramping up efforts to steal more business from Indian companies.
If you look closely, you can actually see the battle brewing with your own eyes simply by skimming the back pages of the financial section. There you'll see Indian companies rushing to buy stakes in Chinese companies, while Chinese companies are countering the move by spending nearly $35 billion in M&A activity -- all in hopes of grabbing a bigger piece of the outsourcing pie.
This virtual outsourcing arms race will put powerful upward pressure on the stock prices of companies that give U.S. and European companies what they want faster, better and cheaper than the competition.
Here are three companies poised to prevail in this epic battle of emerging market titans.
The e-book leader will likely add a color screen to its Kindle to make it the device to beat, analyst says.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
After a 10% slide in the stock in the past month, Collins Stewart analyst Sandeep Aggarwal upgraded the stock to buy, citing the Kindle's strength in the all-important e-book sector. Aggarwal estimates that Amazon will sell 3.85 million Kindles this year. If that turns out to be true, Amazon would have a profit of $650 million on $2.5 billion in sales.
The electronic reader sector is starting to heat up. Last month, Apple (AAPL) introduced its iPad tablet. Last week, Google (GOOG) was rumored to be entering the race with a "gPad"-friendly operating system and this week, Barnes & Noble (BKS) has stocked up on its Nook e-reader devices.
The future of cocoa looks tasty, even in a recession.
By Paul Ausick
Is there a bull market in chocolate?
Yes, the same metric ton of cocoa that sold for just over $3,500 on Jan. 31 was going for $3,100 a week later.
But over the past 12 months, cocoa has risen 25%, according to the International Cocoa Organization -- despite that recent drop.
Companies that produce chocolate, such as Kraft Foods (KFT), Hershey (HSY), Cadbury (CBY), Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (RMCF) and Nestle, have also posted gains for the past year, though not as strong as the commodity itself. And of course the Kraft buyout offer for Cadbury has skewed share prices for both companies.
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[BRIEFING.COM] There wasn't a lot of excitement in the stock market today and there is nothing wrong with that. After rallying in broad-based fashion on Friday, the major indices stood their ground (for the most part) amid a lack of conviction from buyers and sellers alike.
Today wasn't a case so much of the stock market going up as it was a case of some influential stocks going up to keep the major indices on a winning path. In fact, decliners were just about even with ... More
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