Once you get past the hype, there's little chance for long-term gain with this stock.
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With its stock stuck in neutral and sales weak, the retailer resurrects a racy (and controversial) catalog.
High-end clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) is testing the adage "sex sells" to see if that’s true even in periods of weak consumer spending. After suffering yet another drop in sales in May, the company is once again rolling out a racy magazine-style catalog that will sell for $10 in ANF stores to consumers age 18 and up.
The move is sure to raise temperatures, and not just of the teenage girls flipping through the magazine. Abercrombie abandoned the catalog in 2003 after harsh criticism that the magazine was a horrible influence on young people. As the head of Concerned Christians of America said in 2001, "The exploitation of sex and young people in A&F's catalog is not only atrocious but also a psychological molestation of their teen-age customers."
If the catalog isn't toned down, it could be another PR disaster for Abercrombie. Then again, with ANF shares suffering in 2010 and weak consumer spending holding back sales, the store might not think it has that much to lose.
There wasn't much great news, even if the market was strong on Friday.
Value Line Index -- Contains 1,700 stocks, so it's much broader than the S&P 500 or very narrow Dow 30 -- I think it's much more representative of the real market action -- Down but not out
- Down 3.57% for the week but still up .39% for the last 20 sessions
- 64% Barchart technical sell signal
- Trading below it's 20, 50 & 100 day moving average
Barchart Market Momentum -- contains 6,000 stocks -- Percentage of stocks closing above their daily moving averages for various time frames -- Above 50% is good -- Short-term upward bias
Regulators writing the rules for Basel III agree to scale back.
The lesson is clear: Never, never underestimate the ability of banks to beat back the regulators when it really counts.
You might have thought that the international regulators in charge of formulating a new set of rules called Basel III would have had the upper hand after the global financial crisis. You might have thought that putting rules in place to require banks to increase the liquid funds they hold so that they'd don't go belly up in a crisis would be an easy win for the regulators.
You would have been wrong.
The current environment should favor good old-fashioned stock-pickers. Here's a look at where several of the market's best are finding values.
After a lengthy period in which stocks moved dramatically and in near lock-step -- first plunging downward in late 2008 and then surging upward after the March 2009 low -- the market's high level of correlation has faded in 2010. Some sectors, like media, consumer services, and financial services, are up between 4% and 10% this year, according to Morningstar; others, like healthcare, energy, and utilities, are down between 4% and 10%. Large-caps, meanwhile, have lagged their smaller peers -- large-cap growth stocks, for example, are down about 5%, while small-cap value picks are up 5.6%.
This sort of climate should favor stock-picking over macro-economic calls. And over the past week or so, several of the market's most successful strategists have offered insight into how they go about picking stocks -- and where they are finding the best values right now.
Take Tom Forester, whose Forester Value fund was the lone stock fund to make money in 2008.
Language was in original Senate bill, but not in House version -- courts may have to decide issue
Big movie studios won their fight early Friday morning to include a ban on movie box-office futures trading in the final version of financial reform legislation.
The move could end up leaving to the courts the question of the trading’s final fate.
A House-Senate Conference Committee decided to adopt language that was in the Senate’s version of the financial reform bill banning the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from approving futures contracts based on box office revenues.
The antenna band running around Apple's phone is causing some frustration for users.
Apple's (AAPL) new iPhone is getting into the hands of eager users this week, and already a mysterious problem with the antenna's reception is being reported.
The new phone has received enormous praise because of an engineering coup: The metal band around the edge of the phone acts as an antenna, which allowed designers to make the phone slimmer. It was also supposed to offer a stronger signal.
But some early users report that touching the band can mess with the reception. Even picking up the phone causes the reception bars on the screen to drop. One user even filmed a video demonstrating the problem.
A pilot location in Seattle will sell local brews and wine and offer a cozier customer experience.
Starbucks (SBUX) has been on a resurgence in 2010, with its stock up 16% year to date and the successful launch of several new products, including its Via instant coffee and a rebranding of Seattle’s Best as a low-priced coffee alternative.
Now Starbucks is looking to keep up its growth with a trendy Seattle location that is being billed as a “coffee theater” that brings customers closer to the staff, offers plush seating and even a wine and beer menu.
Starbucks is hoping this brave new push into a new atmosphere and a new beverage menu will allow the company to tap into bigger sales and reconnect with customers. But will it work, or is it just an ill-advised gimmick?
The Oracle's Berkshire Hathaway is setting up a new venture in India, and it just won a wager on the World Cup.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Warren Buffett managed to make headlines this week with plans to enter the Indian insurance industry as well as his interesting wager on the outcome of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Throughout these historically tumultuous times, Warren Buffett has maintained an optimistic outlook toward the U.S.'s future as an economic superpower.
In a 2008 New York Times op-ed piece famously headlined "Buy American. I Am," the investor said overwhelming fear in the markets had driven down stock prices, making U.S. equities attractive.
Lawmakers finally produce a bill that reconciles the House and Senate versions.
Wall Street isn't exactly wallowing in despair. Stocks are pretty much unchanged in morning trading, and there is a sense that while the bill isn't all that helpful to banks it's not too damaging, either. The nearly 2,000-page bill creates a consumer protection branch and restricts the fees that debit card companies may charge merchants.
The Wall Street Journal reported.
Shares of Craft Brewers Alliance, maker of Redhook, hit a 52-week high yesterday while most stocks tumbled.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
U.S. stocks fell yesterday, bringing this week's decline in the S&P 500 Index ($INX) to 4% on fears of a Greek default. Meanwhile, Craft Brewers Alliance (HOOK), a collection of regional breweries including Redhook, recorded a 52-week high. The Portland, Ore., company's shares have tripled since the stock market's low in March 2009.
Craft Brewers, which also produces Widmer and Kona beer, has grown in popularity during the economic recovery. Despite its market value of only $85 million, Craft is the eighth-largest U.S. brewer, based on domestic shipments. The company has a distribution partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), which owns 36% of Craft's shares.
The beer company's other major holders are insiders. Company executives rank as the second-, third- and fifth-largest shareholders. Insider ownership is an encouraging sign, as is the stock's price. Its trailing price-earnings ratio of 38 reflects a premium of 115% to its peer average. But a price-book ratio of 1.1, price-sales ratio of 0.7 and price-cash-flow ratio of 8.2 reflect discounts of 77%, 78% and 34% to respective beverage industry averages.
ConAgra's relatively small drop Thursday shows an appetite for safe, slow-moving food and beverage stocks.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
Of all the companies that reported quarterly earnings recently -- Nike (NKE), Adobe (ADBE), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Oracle (ORCL), Darden (DRI), even Research In Motion (RIMM) -- only one stands out as a clear miss, a disappointment: ConAgra (CAG).
The company -- which has a mosaic of what I regard as second-rate brands, including Healthy Choice, Slim Jim, Chef Boyardee, Hunts, Wesson, Banquet and Pam -- failed to deliver at multiple levels. As a Wall Street Journal headline stated: "ConAgra earnings, sales drop."
The company took some shares, but when you read between the lines, you have to conclude that, of the major packaged-goods companies, including McCormick (MKC), which reported yesterday, ConAgra was among the worst we've seen.
Weinstein gets a new lease on life in a deal with Goldman Sachs and insurance company Ambac.
But the company had to give up 200 of its 350 films to do so.
A federal court in Wisconsin on Wednesday approved a deal in which the insurance company Ambac would pay $115 million of Weinstein’s debt to Goldman Sachs and Assured Guaranty.
The remainder of the debt is being exchanged for 200 TWC movies, including the $233 million in accounts receivable on the films.
Chinese stocks are falling despite the country's currency appreciation.
End of the yuan-to-dollar peg? China's currency to appreciate? That story is so last week!
The stock market action in China over the last couple of days is back to the same old, same old: Worries over global economic growth; worries that China's government will pull in the reins on lending again; and worries that China's banks won't be able to raise all the capital they need.
Nothing much has changed despite Beijing's move to let its currency appreciate -- in a very controlled fashion, amounting almost certainly to no more than 2% to 3% in 2010. If you're an investor waiting for an end of China's bear market in stocks, you're still waiting for a resolution to the same fundamental stories. (For more on the limits to China's decision to let the yuan fluctuate in price, see this post.)
Always on the prowl for more ways to get revenue, airlines are now selling primo spots for boarding.
I thought we had seen every possible fee an airline could think of, but a new one is gaining in popularity: a fee to cut in line.
If you pay an extra $10 to $30, some airlines will let you in the front of check-in, boarding and even security lines, The Wall Street Journal reports.
That's what the Journal calls "a new low." And while I'll be the first to admit that it's cheesy, I'll probably be the first to do it, because I can't stand waiting in lines.
Best Buy, Darden Restaurants and Duke Energy have increased their payouts as of this week
After a volatile May, many folks are looking to companies that pay a regular dividend as a way to limit their risk and provide a bit of steady income.
While it’s important that the payout be substantial in these type of income investments, it’s also important for investors to focus on stocks raising dividends, because this helps guarantee that a company won’t leave shareholders in the lurch and slash payouts when times get a little tough.
After all, if you buy in for the quarterly payday, the last thing you want is for your holdings to slash their dividend payouts or let them languish without any increases.
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The Fed may start tapering in just a few months. Here are a few of the likely winners and losers.
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[BRIEFING.COM] A solid November employment report translated into a solid day of gains for the major averages. While there was some talk that the encouraging job growth raised the odds of the Fed announcing a tapering at its December meeting, the message of the markets today was either that it didn't believe there would be a tapering this month or that it doesn't fear a tapering this month.
It was just one day, yet there was ample meaning wrapped up in the connection that the 10-yr ... More
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