Some companies hit all-time records last month, while others missed forecasts.
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A recent national audit of government loans might have missed a large chunk, adding to investor concerns about banks.
Dealers have several months' worth of unsold trucks. Is the automaker trying to paint a better picture?
One Atlanta dealer has more than six months' worth of Silverados on hand, a stockpile even the dealer's general manager describes as "a little scary," Bloomberg reports. In fact, GM's truck inventory has soared to 122 days' worth of average sales, compared with 79 days for Ford (F) and 78 days in past years for GM.
This dealer-stuffing could play right into GM's stock price. One analyst, Peter Nesvold of Jefferies, says the higher truck supply is ultimately pulling GM's 2012 earnings into this year.
"It's unbelievable that after this huge taxpayer bailout and the bankruptcy that we're right back to where we were," he told Bloomberg. "There's no credibility."
How to navigate among the reverse-mergers and other risky companies.
By Matt Koppenheffer
When it comes to U.S.-listed Chinese companies, the shoes are dropping faster than at a barefoot marathon for octopuses.
Last week, A-Power Energy (APWR) became the latest Chinese small cap to be halted. That came after the company's auditor and two independent directors resigned. The auditor had flagged certain transactions at the company for further investigation and told A-Power to talk to the hand when it didn't take any steps to investigate those deals.
Meanwhile, AutoChina endured a beating Friday after the company revealed it will be restating past financial statements and is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The former may not be much to freak out about -- it's the accounting for an earn-out agreement with management -- but it's hard not to be concerned about an SEC investigation.
A former broker shares an 11-point checklist.
But former stockbroker Kevin Matras says his checklist works. Matras, a contributing editor at Zacks Investment Research, shares his strategy in the following video. Before he buys a stock, he says, he puts it up against this basic set of building blocks. If a stock passes, he says, it has a high probability of success.
By the way, five stocks currently sail through his checklist. I'll go through those stocks after the following video.
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The nation is slowly starting to face the consequences of its actions.
China is slowly starting to face the consequences of its actions — loans grew by more than 30% a year over the past few years — and inflation is rising fast. Inflation in developed countries is unpleasant, but it is tolerable. For a developing country — China, despite its size, is still a developing country — it can be catastrophic. In developed countries, we spend two or three times less on food as a percentage of our income as do people in developing countries. Therefore, though food inflation is unpleasant, we have a much greater tolerance (margin of safety) for it. While food inflation the US can mean fewer trips to restaurants or no summer vacation, food inflation in China leads to hunger.
Here's the skinny on the video game company as it prepares to go public.
By Eric Jackson, TheStreet
Overall, most folks in the press have described the company positively because it appears to be making money compared with Groupon.
The company does have a number of strengths, but the general view of the business press is badly misinformed because of a lack of familiarity with the gaming sector.
Here are some myths and truths about Zynga:
There is substantial upside potential in minerals, and risk-controlled entry points are evident for 3 leading producers.
A growing number of financial advisers prefer to blend active and passive strategies.
By Stan Luxenberg, TheStreet
Financial advisers argue endlessly about whether index funds are superior to actively managed portfolios. Some advisers use index funds exclusively, while others believe they can outdo the benchmarks with actively managed funds. But a growing number are taking a hybrid approach, mixing actively managed funds with passive ETFs and index funds.
"It is rare for us to see an adviser who puts everything in one kind of investment," says Sue Thompson, the managing director of BlackRock, which operates the iShares family of ETFs.
Thompson says some advisers start with a core of ETFs, then buy a few actively managed funds to add spice or reach asset classes that are not well served by ETFs. Other advisers start with a core of active funds and add ETFs on the margins.
JPMorgan Chase and IBM, among others, tend to advance after reporting second-quarter results.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
Alcoa (AA) unofficially kicks off the earnings reporting season July 11 after the stock market's closing bell. The aluminum producer's stock doesn't fare well after reporting second-quarter numbers, falling an average of 0.7% the following day, according to data collected over the past 10 years.
Disney, Microsoft and Exxon Mobil (XOM) typically fall an average of 2% in the trading session after the companies report financial results for the second quarter. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)
CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks up the power of his social network's infrastructure, but can the deal fend off a hot new video feature from Google? With video analysis.
By Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
Facebook made a splash Wednesday with a major upgrade to its ubiquitous social-media platform: a video chat feature via a partnership with Skype.
The move comes along with upgrades to groups, chatting and buddy lists, adding an extra layer of interactivity to Facebook. That's saying something, considering the site already boasts 500 million active users who spend more than 700 billion minutes per month on its site.
So what is the motivation for the upgrade to chatting and Facebook-Skype synergy? To keep people connected, sure, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged in his press conference Wednesday that Facebook chat was a bit clunky and needed some improvement. But more importantly, to keep users loyally plugged in as competitors look to get a slice of Facebook's massive social-media pie.
Hoping to avoid a run on Greek banks, the European Central Bank becomes more open-minded about its rules.
Betting against this company is stupid.
By Tim Hanson
It's not often that a company you've criticized invites you over for a tour and tea, but that's precisely what happened to me recently in Beijing when I visited Baidu's (BIDU) corporate campus in the northwestern part of the city. And after spending a full day meeting employees and getting a sense of the company's culture and growth strategy, I'm beginning to think that my skepticism of the company has been misguided.
I'll tell you why, but first I need to explain what I used to think.
This story begins 1,800% ago
Baidu went public in 2005, and given the excitement about emerging markets then, the stock nearly doubled on its first day of trading. It's looked expensive to me ever since. One reason for that is Baidu was (and to some extent remains) a Google (GOOG) clone.
The company plans to offer video streams in three languages to 43 countries later this year.
This is a huge deal for the video-streaming and DVD-by-mail company. Netflix has gone international only once, launching services in Canada last year. Now it plans to offer videos in Spanish, Portuguese and English to subscribers in Mexico, Central America and South America as well as in the Caribbean.
Analysts think there are 40 million to 45 million broadband customers in Latin America and the Caribbean. Think about that in terms of Netflix Canada, which won the loyalty of 8% of broadband households within seven months, says Citi analyst James Rivett.
The following video has a pretty meaty discussion about Netflix's expansion and what it means for the stock. Check it out.
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Fidelity introduces 4 targeted products that reduce interest-rate uncertainty.
By Stan Luxenberg, TheStreet
Plenty of investors are worried that interest rates will rise in coming years. That could be bad news for bond funds. When rates rise, bond prices tend to fall. So investors in bond funds can't be sure how much money they will have on any particular date.
To help reduce the uncertainty, Fidelity Investments recently introduced four municipal funds that target specific dates, ranging from 2015 to 2021. The funds hold bonds that mature near the target dates. The idea is that shareholders will receive their principal back on the target dates.
The funds could be attractive for cautious investors who are saving for specific events. Say you will need to make college tuition payments in 10 years. You could invest in Fidelity Municipal Income 2021 (FOCFX).
With the sale of the struggling roast beef chain officially behind it, Wendy's sheds the Arby's name while keeping a small stock interest in the company.
By Miriam Reimer, TheStreet
Wendy's (WEN) is once again a solo fast-food name brand -- dropping Arby's from its name now that its sale of the struggling roast beef chain is complete -- and the company is forging ahead with new menu items, an updated logo and a focus on global growth.
Wendy's said early Tuesday that it completed the sale of Arby's to private equity firm Roark Capital Management, a long-anticipated divestiture announced in June. Effective immediately, its corporate name was changed to The Wendy's Company, and its common stock will continue to trade under the ticker WEN.
The sale of its struggling Arby's chain showed that Wendy's was looking to deleverage its balance sheet and finally divest a brand that's been dragging on its financials for years.
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The retailer labels the character's fake memoir as non-fiction. This comes weeks after it categorized the the Bible as fiction.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The drive for five continued today and it was a success. For the fifth straight session, the S&P 500 ended lower. Like the previous four sessions, though, the losses were fairly modest in scope. The S&P 500 declined 0.4%, bringing its total loss for the five sessions to 22 points or 1.2%. All in all, that still qualifies as a pretty tame slide considering the S&P 500 had risen 150 points, or 9.1%, over the previous eight weeks.
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