The chain still has quality management and strong retention rates.
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Emerging strength in small-cap and cyclical stocks point to continued gains.
Since stocks hit bottom on February 5, there has been a noticeable performance differential between the small caps in the Russell 2000 and the mega caps in the Dow. Over the last seven trading days, the Russell 2000 (RUT) has gained 6% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) has gained just 3.7%. This is what leadership looks like.
Such behavior reflects a rise in investors risk appetites and suggests a strong rebound rally is just getting started. Similar periods of relative small cap strength, following periods of small cap underperformance, has marked important turning points since the March 2009 low. It happened back in December. It happened in September. It happened in July. It happened in May. And it's happening now.
We're seeing similar leadership from technology stocks; specifically, by semiconductor stocks like Entegris (ENTG) and SMART Modular Technologies (SMOD) which gained 14% and 15% last week respectively and are up 6.8% and 5.5% during Monday trading. Looking back, relative outperformance by semiconductors against the S&P 500 has marked the most important market moves over the last 18 months. By most important, I mean moves to new highs.
All of this suggests that savvy Wall Street insiders are preparing for a move higher by positioning themselves in the stocks and sectors with the most leverage.
Coach CEO Lew Frankfort credits the high-end bag company's shrewd pricing strategy for its recent success.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Coach CEO Lew Frankfort lowered entry-level prices 15%, a move that helped the company weather the economic downturn.
But let's be clear about one thing: Coach doesn’t call this a sale. Frankfort, in an exclusive interview with TheStreet, was adamant about this. There are no blaring signs in store windows drawing attention to lower prices, no advertisements highlighting value merchandise. Instead, Coach has been trying to surprise consumers who pick up bags they expect to be $500 and see they’re $200.
Skepticism about the size of NBC's audience had many sponsors wondering if they'd get their money's worth. But the real threat may be the Internet.
A number of large marketers like Pepsi (PEP) have stayed away from the Winter Olympic games. Nielsen numbers showed Saturday viewership was as high as 27 million households on the NBC network, while 32 million people watched the opening ceremony.
Some of the most popular programming, like hockey and downhill skiing, is still to come. In other words, Pepsi may have made a mistake.
USA Today reported that NBC may dodge the fate that most experts expected for the network. Early reports were that the General Electric (GE) division could lose tens of millions of dollars on the $820 million investment it made in the games. It now appears that the network has a chance to break even.
The private sector suggests that one way or another, Obama won't be a headwind for long.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Every time I think that I am being too optimistic about the Marcellus Shale, I get shocked into discovering there is much more natural gas in the play than I thought and much more value than anyone realizes.
This morning's announcement that Mitsui (MITSY) will pay $1.4 billion for a third of Anadarko's (APC) Marcellus' assets is breathtaking both in its surprise value -- another new player with lots of cash coming in -- and its price tag given that Anadarko is not a huge player in the Marcellus.
I just had Range Resources (RRC) on last week, the first and biggest player in Marcellus, and this new valuation makes me think that RRC, which is regarded as overvalued by some analysts because of its premium valuation to the big established Barnett players (thought to be the highest-grade shale deposit, and one that Range and Anadarko have stakes in) is actually cheap.
Verizon's disappointing investors, but you don't need shock and awe to rate a good buy.
When Verizon (VZ) reported fourth-quarter earnings on Jan. 26, there were no real surprises. And that was disappointing to investors who were looking for signs that a rising economy was lifting margins in Verizon's legacy landline business or who were hoping for some sign that Apple (AAPL) was going to strike a deal with Verizon to sell the iPhone.
So, investors are stuck with the same old story -- which fortunately is pretty good despite its lack of surprises.
The market regained some of its losses but we are still not out of the woods. Maybe it's time to short the euro?
Value Line Index -- this uses 1,700 stocks so it's much broader than the narrower S&P 500 or Dow 30 -- is up 2.54% this week. Last month it was down 2.89% but up 1.57% so far this month -- let's call it recovering
- Barchart's technical indicators signal a buy on only five of the 13 signals for an overall rating of hold.
- The index closed Friday above its 100-day moving average but is still below its 20 and 50 DMA
Barchart market momentum indicator -- normally covers approximately 6,000 stocks --the percentage of stocks closing above their daily moving averages for various time frames -- still weak but improving.
The week of the Presidents Day holiday generally produces declines in the S&P 500.
The Bespoke Investment Group went back nearly 40 years analyzing the market's performance in the shortened President's Day work week. As it turns out, the S&P 500 declines an average of 0.20% for the week.
Normally, the market gains 0.12% to 0.15% in a work week, so a 0.20% drop is bad, Bespoke reports.
The end is in sight for some key emergency programs that helped the housing market limp along.
We may get the answer to that question soon, as many of the emergency programs propping up the market come to an end. Many people think the answer will be a resounding no, reports The New York Times.
In the last year, the government has given a tax credit to first-time homeowners and kept mortgage rates low. And the Federal Housing Administration backed low-money-down loans that many banks turn up their noses at, helping homebuyers without other options.
But even with those tools, look at what's happened:
This Indonesian telecom company stands to benefit from the country's improving economy and credit rating.
First, there's Indonesia's economy, which is forecast to show a 5.2% increase in gross domestic product in 2010 after 4.3% growth in 2009.
Second, there's the gradual improvement in Indonesia's credit rating: On Monday, Fitch upgraded Indonesia's sovereign debt to BB+ from BB. That's no small deal for a telecommunications company that has to access the capital markets frequently (although the debt-to-equity ratio looked to finish 2009 at just 33%).
Six Chinese picks with potential
Written by Douglas Estadt
I've opened positions in six stocks ahead of the Chinese New Year celebration. Here they are:
ChinaCast Education Corp (CAST): Online education company with a fantastic management team.
China Marine Food Group (CMFO): Present and growing popularity of night markets in more affluent cities will help this seafood snack producer.
Whether you're bullish or bearish on the broader market, there's money to be made in stocks
Is the stock market's recent dip merely a blip on the radar of a maturing bull market? Or is it the precursor to another big downward move for equities?
Some of the brightest investment minds disagree on that question. But the gurus I follow seem to agree on one thing: Wherever the broader market heads, there will be opportunities for investors to make hay.
Let's start with the bears. Economist and columnist A. Gary Shilling has been bearish for a long time, and he's not changing his view. "The slow growth and deflation I foresee in the years ahead portend a secular bear market for US and many foreign equities," Shilling writes in a piece published by MoneyShow.com. But, while consumers have switched from buying mode into saving mode, Shilling says several types of stocks should offer strong profits in the next decade. Among them: utilities and other high dividend-payers.
Corporate earnings growth is strong and a market correction creates opportunity for bulls.
The bears may be in charge for now with a market that is undergoing a somewhat painful correction, but ultimately the bulls will win this war.
Three quarters of S&P 500 companies have reported results, and with 4th quarter earnings crushing Wall Street estimates, valuations will ultimately rise if the trend continues. Or will they?
In response to fantastic operating performance at the end of last year traders have sent the S&P 500 to a decline of almost 5% in 2010.
So what gives?
Stocks have enjoyed an incredible run since hitting rock bottom last March. The market being forward looking appears not to care that 73% of S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings have bested estimates. (Check out these 5 earnings stalwarts)
Sales of heavy farm equipment skyrocketed in January for reasons no one can explain. With video update.
Problem is, no one knows exactly why.
CNBC reports (video below) that sales of large two-wheel-drive tractors rose 33%, and four-wheel-drive tractors were up 9%. Combine sales were on the march as well.
Sales of video games and equipment drop 13% as shoppers cut spending and buy less Nintendo Wii gear.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
Video game sales tumbled 13% in January from a year earlier amid disappointing forecasts from game makers.
The NPD Group said sales for the month fell to $1.17 billion as consumers curtailed spending after the holidays.
Sales of game software sank 12% to $597 million, while console sales plunged 21% to $353 million. There was a significant drop in sales of Nintendo's Wii, but sales of Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360 and Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 3 rose from a year earlier.
Yahoo! shareholders should be happy that Yang & company are selling their positions.
Yahoo! submitted a filing on Thursday evening disclosing that Jerry Yang, co-founder, filed to sell 3 million shares of common stock. David Filo, also a co-founder, made the same insider sale filing to sell up to 2 million shares.
After the Microsoft (MSFT) buyout was rebuffed and botched by Jerry Yang in the manner that it was, shareholders should not be upset that Yang or Filo are selling. They should instead cheer and ask at least Jerry Yang to unload the rest of his shares, much in the same way Yahoo finally unloaded HotJobs for a $220 million loss.
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