The Dow has run up to -- and been turned away from -- 16,000 twice before.
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A lot of the stock action this year has been in small caps, but let's not forget the big dogs.
But news that these consumer staple companies are ramping up advertising spending tells me they expect some solid growth.
These giants understand advertising very well and what will happen when ad spending increases.
The facts show that the economy is out of recession. But many people feel things are getting worse.
The numbers are there, plain as day. They show an economy on the mend, a country returning to its former glory, an America that is once again beautiful.
So why doesn't it feel that way?
This is "the comeback country," Newsweek crows. "America is coming back stronger, better, and faster than nearly anyone expected -- and faster than most of its international rivals," writes Daniel Gross.
Key factor: Increased offer is all cash
The Weinstein Co. appears to have moved into prime position to acquire Miramax from the Walt Disney Co. after a weekend meeting at Disney chief Bob Iger’s home, where the independent distributor upped its bid to all cash, TheWrap has learned.
TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein and a representative for his billionaire backer, Ron Burkle, met over the weekend at Iger’s home in Brentwood, Calif., to try to seal the deal, according to two knowledgeable individuals.
Analyst upgrades Best Buy's rating, says the retailer would gain from buying RadioShack.
By Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet
FBR Capital Markets raised the electronics retailer to “market perform” from “underperform.” Analyst Stephen Chick said such an acquisition would benefit Best Buy, comparing it to the company's 50% ownership of UK-based Carphone Warehouse.
While a deal would be boost earnings, there are risks to merging two rival companies, Chick wrote in a note. "We would like to let the dust settle here in order to better assess the risk/reward of Best Buy."
Dollar choices are part of a strategy to win back cost-conscious consumers. But advertising and planned remodels will be expensive.
The restaurant is adding more lower-priced items to its menu including a small roast beef sandwich, curly fries and a Jamocha shake -- and operator Wendy’s/Arby’s Group (WEN) is backing them with an expensive new advertising campaign.
It’s part of a big push by the higher priced fast-food joint to woo back cost-conscious customers who fled the pricier restaurant for cheaper rivals during the recession.
The problems in Europe have highlighted the opportunities still out there in our country.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
If you watch "Mad Money," you know that almost nightly I make fun of the obsession with Greece and the Grecian formula for budget deficits. I keep trying to get peoples' attentions on the amazing earnings and takeovers -- a huge number -- and the turn in the US economy.
I am wrong. I have been wrong.
I am beginning to think that Greece Gone Wild is good for the U.S. stock market. That's right, I wrote it: GOOD! Before you dismiss this view out of hand, remember that the whole time this Grecian farce has been going on, the U.S. stock market has rallied. That's what got me thinking about this. Maybe the people who obsess about it -- particularly the media -- should be thinking, "What is the real impact on the United States?" and now, "What is the impact on Europe and the United States?"
Forget about the reasons for the market increase, let's just look at the facts.
Value Line Index -- Contains 1700 stocks so it's much broader than the S&P 500 or the much narrower Dow 30
- Index was up by 2.49% this week -- That make 3 weeks in a row and better yet 3 months in a row
- The Index closed on Friday above its 20, 50 and 100 day moving averages
- Index is up 5.60% in the last 30 days
Barchart's 13 technical indicators all signal a buy for a 100% technical buy rating
The stock market rally has been fast and furious. But based on historical norms, it shouldn't be all that surprising.
As the market has continued to rally, one of the big bearish arguments has been that stocks have come too far, too fast. But have they?
Not according to Barry Ritholtz, who called both the '08 crash and the '09 recovery. In fact, Ritholtz says this rally is in line with typical secular bear market recoveries. Historically, the median secular bear has lasted about 29 months, and involved a 56% drop — just about what we hit in the recent bear, though much more quickly, he tells Forbes.com. Then, on average, a 70% rebound has followed over the next 17 months.
“Since we fell much quicker than that, it’s not a surprise that we have bounced 60%, 65% in just 12 months,” Ritholtz says. He thinks a decent sized correction could be "a quarter or three" away, but as long as interest rates stay low, he says it's unwise to short stocks.
Ritholtz isn't the only top strategist seeing more room for the market to run.
The current price cuts are part of an effort to lure back consumers whose tastes are getting pricier once more.
The world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), will cut prices on as many as 10,000 food and general merchandise items in an effort to reverse its slowing U.S. sales growth. The new pricing has already begun in the company's 3,700 U.S. stores.
Wal-Mart was generally believed to be the company that benefited most from the economic downturn, attracting new customers from a suddenly less-wealthy middle class. The recovering economy has boosted sales at most other retailers. Direct WMT competitors Target (TGT) and Costco (COST) both reported a 10% jump in same-store sales in March.
Wal-Mart no longer issues monthly sales figures, but it's no secret that U.S. sales are slowing down and part of the reason is that those recently won-over middle-class customers are returning to their previous favorites.
Cyclical stock Navios Maritime Partners boasts a 9.1% yield, and its general partner makes a big buy.
With the global economy in solid recovery mode -- for example, the U.S. economy will grow at 2.4% in the first quarter of 2010, and 2.3% in the second quarter (not great, but a long way from recession), according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -- I think it's time to reach a little further for yield. (For more on where we are in the economic cycle, see this recent post.)
But it looks like we're now in the flow part of the cycle.
Apple is gunning for Adobe's Flash, and that's got to be making the company nervous.
But that seems to be what's happening with Adobe Systems (ADBE), which is certainly feeling the heat of Apple's (AAPL) wrath. Things are now so bad, in fact, that Adobe had to warn investors about it in a regulatory filing.
"To the extent new releases of operating systems or other third-party products, platforms or devices, such as the Apple iPhone or iPad, make it more difficult for our products to perform, and our customers are persuaded to use alternative technologies, our business could be harmed," Adobe said Friday in the filing.
Translation? Apple is gunning for us. And it's scary.
Interest rates are headed up, adding more pressure to a sector that is just starting to recover.
And that took its toll on homebuilder stocks, which had been on a roll in the last few months. The S&P 500 Homebuilder group broke below its 50-day moving average, the Bespoke Investment Group reported. You can see the ups and downs of the week on the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB).
The rising mortgage rates could crater the fragile recovery that we're just starting to see in the housing market.
A former employee of a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary sues the company, claiming its executives fired him in retaliation.
By Eric Rosenbaum, TheStreet
This week, a former employee sued Berkshire Hathaway executives, claiming they fired him after he exposed alleged fraud at the company’s recreational vehicle subsidiary, Forest River. The ex-worker, Brad Mart, filed the complaint in US District Court in South Bend, Ind.
A recent Harris Interactive (HPOL) poll said Berkshire Hathaway had the best reputation among 60 major U.S. companies. Mart’s complaint alleges that Forest River Chief Executive Peter Liegl forced the company -- which makes RVs, restroom trailers and pontoon boats -- to buy parts at inflated prices from another company Liegl owned. Mart also accused Forest River executives of using shady accounting to hide payments made to former employees.
Shares of big banks are gaining as investors anticipate falling credit costs. Now the companies must deliver the goods.
By Lauren Tara LaCapra, TheStreet
The performance of big banks in the first quarter will depend on whether they boosted profits in booming areas or stitched up wounds in still-troubled ones.
Capital markets continued to improve last quarter. Wealth management, stock and bond issuance, advisory services and proprietary trading businesses are likely to have grown during the first quarter. Net interest margins probably expanded as credit costs eased.
On the downside, lending is weak and new regulation has curtailed fee revenue from sources such as overdrafts, credit cards and deposits. It's unclear how mortgage modification programs are faring with charge-off and foreclosure rates still high. It's also difficult to tell whether fees from strong refinancing volume and new home purchases will be enough to counter those losses. Banks that took advantage of shifting interest rates early with smart hedging strategies may have offset housing losses entirely.
Allscripts-Misys is building an app that will allow doctors to use the device on their rounds.
By Jim Cramer, TheStreet
I care if Glen Tullman buys the iPad, because if he does, then I know Apple will have created its biggest product ever.
Who is Glen Tullman? He is the chief executive of Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions (MDRX), the leading maker of software to control costs for doctors and hospitals in the United States.
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The offering could become the second-biggest this year if underwriters exercise an option to buy more shares.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Equity indices settled on their lows following a steady, session-long slide. Similar to yesterday, small-caps paced the retreat as the Russell 2000 fell 1.6%, extending its December loss to 3.6%. The S&P 500 settled lower by 1.1%, widening its month-to-date decline to 1.3%.
There was no specific news catalyst behind today's slide, which had the markings of broad-based profit-taking. Seven of ten sectors settled with losses of 1.0% or more while only two groups ... More
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