The chain still has quality management and strong retention rates.
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If inflation hits, companies with economic moats should be prepared.
The Federal Reserve's second -- and perhaps final -- round of quantitative easing has ended, and some Congressional leaders continue to talk tough on deficit reduction. But make no mistake: The U.S. is still far from a state of conservative fiscal and monetary policy. Interest rates remain near zero, and, for all of the deficit-reduction talk, many of the cuts being proposed by various politicians only scratch the surface of our $1.4 trillion annual shortfall.
That climate and other factors have many top strategists saying that significant inflation will finally hit the U.S. economy in a big way sometime soon. Just in the past couple of weeks, hedge fund titan Carl Icahn, top-performing mutual fund manager Chuck Akre and insightful strategist Rob Arnott all said they see inflation on the horizon. Icahn says it will come as Asia's growing middle class creates competition -- and rising prices -- for commodities and finished products from that part of the world. Arnott, meanwhile, says that the U.S. will likely try to get out of its debt hole by printing more money, which will lead to an inflation spike.
Friday’s downturn should continue into next week, but technically this should be just a correction that will set up a buying opportunity.
The video service's future lies abroad.
By Anders Bylund
Shares of Netflix (NFLX) skyrocketed this week when the video maven announced an ambitious international expansion plan. By the end of 2011, Netflix plans to sell digital streaming plans in 43 new nations across the Americas and the Caribbean.
The expansion itself surprised no one, but the grand scale of the rollout -- or, perhaps, its pace -- did raise some eyebrows.
The fast and the furious
Netflix had already signaled plans to go nearly worldwide with its digital services. Recent job postings looking for customer support personnel fluent in Brazilian Portuguese and Latin American Spanish tipped off the pan-American move, but also gave us clues to Netflix's next phase.
The head of Berkshire Hathaway says he has a great plan: Tie lawmakers' political futures to the deficit.
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told Becky Quick. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."
They don't call him the Oracle for nothin'. Warren also had some rather harsh words for Republicans digging in their heels on the debt issue. We raised the debt ceiling seven times during the administration of President George W. Bush, Buffett said. But now it's become a hostage. You can hear more from Buffett in the following video interview.
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David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital hedge fund has sold its position in the Internet giant at a loss.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
David Einhorn's hedge fund Greenlight Capital has sold out of its position in Yahoo (YHOO) at a loss following the Internet search giant's dispute over the ownership transfer of Alibaba's online-payments business Alipay.
In a letter to shareholders Friday, Einhorn said his initial purchase of Yahoo was "based on a sum of the parts analysis," which included putting substantial value on the company's Chinese assets. Following the dispute over Alibaba, Einhorn says the hedge fund "exited with a modest loss," saying that the finger pointing by involved parties "wasn't what we signed up for."
Greenlight's sale of Yahoo comes only two months after the hedge fund took a stake in the Internet search company. Shares are down nearly 15% since setting a 52-week high of $18.84 on May 6 after Einhorn disclosed his position. In Friday's letter, Einhorn acknowledges that Greenlight Capital's fund is down 5% this year, underperforming the market.
With new distribution centers and big tablet orders, the retailer lays the framework for busy fourth quarter.
The retailer has Christmas on the brain these days as it prepares for a huge holiday season. This week, the company announced it will open two new distribution centers in Arizona and Indiana. It's already opened three other centers this year.
The company is on track to open nine new centers this year after opening 13 last year, Business Insider reports. It's a good sign that Amazon is expecting a whopper of a holiday season -- so much so that it's willing to rack up the expenses in preparation.
There's also a big new product in the works: Amazon's own tablet computer.
Hackers continue to have a blast, News Corp. is forced to shut down a paper and Exxon plays dumb after its Montana oil spill in this week's round-up of business-world blunders.
By Gregg Greenberg, TheStreet
5. Summer hackers having a blast
How is your summer break so far? Are you having fun?
Investors who share Warren Buffett's economic optimism might consider this exchange-traded fund.
By Don Dion, TheStreet
Warren Buffett's biggest claim to fame over the span of his illustrious multi-decade career has been his unmatchable investing prowess. However, droves of individuals on Wall Street and Main Street also consistently turn to the Oracle of Omaha in order to gain insight into current events and to hear his outlook for the U.S. and global economy.
The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) sat down with CNBC's Becky Quick in Sun Valley, Idaho to touch on topics ranging from the U.S. debt ceiling debates to the corporate jet industry. As in the past, the billionaire investor provided viewers with valuable insight blended with a touch of the folksy, down home charm he is known so well for.
During the conversation, Buffett had some choice words for Washington legislators when the topic of the U.S. debt ceiling was brought up. Calling the argument "silly," and likening the debate in Washington to a game of Russian roulette, he warned that major risks could arise in the event that the ceiling is not raised.
These market leaders have rallied sharply recently, and while a pullback is likely, the charts for both stocks show no signs of major tops.
Yes, there's a lot of hype around the iPad and iPhone stock -- but for good reason.
By Jeff Reeves, InvestorPlace.com
I typically have little interest in the hottest stocks on Wall Street. There is much to be said for being fearful when others are greedy.
After all, how much buying pressure can be left to bid up a stock after every guppy on Main Street and every shark in a thousand-dollar suit owns shares?
Recently, I took a good look at Apple Inc. (AAPL), one of Wall Street’s biggest darlings. I was trying to find reasons to avoid the stock like the plague. But as it turns out, Apple is actually very cheap – and a good buy despite all the hype. Here’s why:
Warren Buffett's top lieutenant writes a parody about the Great Recession.
That's the tale crafted in Slate Magazine by Charlie Munger, vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A). Warren Buffett's right-hand man apparently has a knack for parody.
Here's how his tale unfolds:
In the country of Boneheadia there was a man, Wantmore, who earned his income as a home mortgage loan originator. Wantmore operated conservatively. All his home loans bore interest rates of 6 percent or less, and he demanded of all borrowers large down payments, documented proof of adequate income, and an immaculate credit-using history. Wantmore sold all his loans to life insurance companies that, before closing purchases, checked loan quality with rigor—then held all loans to maturity.
Peabody Energy wins the right to develop a major block of coal. Even better? The site is next door to China.
The anatomy of a great company.
By Morgan Housel
Asked about his favorite company outside of Berkshire, Munger literally interrupted the questioner and answered, "That's easy. It's Costco."
"It's one of the most admirable capitalistic institutions in the world. And its CEO, Jim Sinegal, is one of the most admirable retailers to ever live on this planet," he gushed. "I just can't say enough about my admiration for Costco. More of you should look at Costco. In fact, every time Donald Trump says something and you get discouraged, you should think about Costco."
One analyst questions the company's governance and wonders about the competition.
Paul Meeks at CapStone Investments has initiated coverage on the social-networking stock with a "sell" rating and a $45 price target.
"There is froth in the stock price of LinkedIn and other social media names," Meeks writes in his report. "We can't get here (over $90 per share) from there or from where we see LinkedIn going even under the most optimistic scenario." You can see the summary of Meeks' 18-page writeup here.
The major indexes saw a dip just as the ruling was being read. Coincidence?
That's what one website is wondering after seeing an interesting drop in the markets just after the verdict was read Tuesday.
The lead-up to the verdict began building at 2 p.m., with the televised proceedings starting at around 2:17 p.m., Mogulite reports. Between 2 p.m. and 2:34 p.m., there was a dip in the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite indexes.
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The hotel giant and the food service company started trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Recent action saw a continuation of the rebound effort that is being paced by cyclical financials (+0.4%) and industrials (+0.3%). In addition, the energy sector (+0.8%) is also making a noteworthy contribution to the bounce even as crude oil trades with a modest gain of just 0.2% at $97.56/bbl.
Meanwhile, the other commodity-related sector, materials, continues to hold a slim loss of 0.1%. The sector trades in-line with the S&P 500 despite notable underperformance ... More
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