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Select locations are rolling out flavors like wild berry, mango and strawberry to capture bigger beverage sales

By InvestorPlace May 18, 2010 11:35AM
mcdonald's mcd big macIt used to be that McDonald’s (MCD) was known for its Happy Meals, Egg McMuffins and Big Macs. But increasingly, the burger giant has been looking to brand itself as a beverage leader.


Its latest move: The addition of smoothies and iced frappes to its already impressive suite of McCafe gourmet coffees. Smoothie flavors include wild berry, strawberry banana, mango and strawberry at select locations.

Mickey D’s has come a long way with its beverage line recently, but ever since the Shamrock Shake debuted in 1970 the company has been looking for innovative ways to drink up sales.

 

Greece is a warning to governments that promise too much and pay too much for what they promise.

By TheStreet Staff May 18, 2010 10:51AM

TheStreetcash globe © PhotoAlto/SuperStockBy Peter Morici, TheStreet

 

As the May 6 “flash crash” in U.S. stocks illustrated, problems in Greece can have grave consequences for not merely other Mediterranean economies and Europe, but the US and the broader global economy.

 

The selloff on May 20 and 21, in the face of strong U.S. economic data, reflected growing concerns that the eurozone bailout will not work -- Greece may be beyond saving -- and that European government finances don't work.

 

At its core, problems in Greece reflect broader problems in Europe that are spreading to the U.S. The 750 billion euro assistance fund simply doesn’t address those problems. It is perhaps a palliative effort, not a cure.

 

 

How to find winning China stocks

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money May 18, 2010 9:28AM

Written by Douglas Estadt

Dr. Eric Jackson, of Ironfire Capital LLC (http://www.ironfirecapital.com), sits down with us to share insights on how he selects winning stocks from China:

 

  • Must do your due diligence, not invest blindly
  • Focus on specific company opportunity, not broad "China growth" statements

  

For more of Dr. Jackson's insight, view the video below

 

The strengthening dollar is opening opportunities for US investors, yet the market can only see the negatives.

By Jim Cramer May 18, 2010 9:15AM
TheStreet's Jim CramerImagine, for a moment, what would happen if mortgage rates from Fannie Mae (FNM) dropped to 4.5%. What would happen if gasoline fell to $2.50 or even lower? What would happen if commodity prices came down hard?

 

Would you like the situation? Wouldn't you like the idea that the Federal Reserve would be on hold at these low rates? Wouldn't you like the increased purchasing power you would get, especially now that the housing tax credit is over? Wouldn't you look for consumer stocks to buy?

 

This market is giving you a resounding answer: Nope. That would be foolish.

 

 

Shares of gold miners sink amid demand concerns. Investors turn to dollars as the euro hits four-year low.

By TheStreet Staff May 17, 2010 2:31PM

TheStreetGold © Comstock Images/JupiterimagesBy Alix Steel, TheStreet

 

Gold prices in New York were slipping Monday as jittery investors sold gold for cash and the euro hit a four-year low.

 

Gold for June delivery was down $2.20 to $1,225.60 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold has traded as high as $1,242.80 and as low as $1,222.50. The US dollar index was rising 0.5% to $86.55 while the euro was falling 0.3% to $1.23 against the dollar. The spot gold price was dropping by $6, according to Kitco's gold index. Gold prices hit a record $1,249 last week.

 

Investors are still concerned that the European Union’s $1 trillion financial aid package won’t be enough to stop the debt crisis in some member countries. They also fear that austerity measures in Greece, Spain and Portugal will hurt growth without closing budget deficits.

 

 

Will Five-Card Stud make you a better investor? Some on Wall Street think so.

By Kim Peterson May 17, 2010 2:30PM
Poker hand. Credit: (© Image Source/Corbis)One Wall Street firm now asks applicants to play a few hands of poker during their job interviews, The Los Angeles Times reports.

If a person isn't interested in poker, that's almost a red flag, an executive at the firm told the newspaper. "It's almost the equivalent of not reading the Wall Street Journal."

Looks like the high-stakes gambling aspect of Wall Street isn't going away anytime soon. 

The video retailer is on the ropes. Will it survive?

By Jamie Dlugosch May 17, 2010 2:03PM

Investors in Blockbuster (BBI) are playing Russian roulette, and one of these days the gun is going to go off.

 

In a recent securities filing, Blockbuster stated that filing bankruptcy remained a possibility. If that happens, investors will likely lose the entirety of their current investments.

Today the company has a market capitalization of $83 million, so there's not much left to lose. But individuals are still rolling the dice on Blockbuster at 40 cents per share -- down from $4 and change three years ago -- even though a complete loss is quote possible.

 

How much rope will investors give this company?

 

Other companies are doing brisk business with subprime buyers. But not General Motors.

By Kim Peterson May 17, 2010 12:38PM
Car buyers © Image100/JupiterimagesPeople with bad credit still need to buy cars. And General Motors wants to sell to them -- if only its lender would chill out a little.

Subprime buyers received about 16% of all new vehicle loans in the fourth quarter of last year, The Associated Press reports. The auto industry depends on these people for its sales, and it needs the banks to give them loans.

GM wants to sell to more subprime buyers as it revs up for a new public stock offering. But its main lender, Ally Financial, doesn't like the risk of loaning money to people with poor credit. So GM is stuck. 
Tags: GM

Gold prices will keep rising because the precious metal is becoming increasingly hard to find.

By Jim Cramer May 17, 2010 10:08AM

TheStreet's Jim CramerGold's one of those commodities that enable me to join the bears without compromising my opportunist philosophy. By saying that gold is going to $2,000, as I have on "Mad Money," I am never going to be wrong.

 

I am not wrong today, for example, even though gold is down, because that's an opportunity. When you get a dip in gold, you can say "buy!" When you have a huge sell-off, you can be more bullish. When you have a run, you can take credit. It is a joyful position.


And here are the reasons:

 

The crowd always sells when thdy should be buying and buys when it should be selling. Don't follow the crowd.

By Jim Van Meerten May 15, 2010 11:24AM
Every Saturday morning on Financial Tides I run through my standard exercise of using Barchart and my 3 yardsticks to evaluate just what the market really did during the past week. One thing that I've learned over the years is you need to be proactive and not reactive in your investing. Most investors are lemmings who don't plan ahead. A week ago last Thursday was a market disaster from which the market is recovering. Too many people are still liquidating as the market begins its recovery. Let's get back to the yardsticks.

Value Line Index -- contains 1700 stocks so it's much broader than the S&P 500 or very narrow Dow 30 -- beginning to recover
  • After 2 down weeks the Index was up 4.68% for the week
  • If the Index were a stock Barchart technical indicators give it an 8% buy score
  • The Index is trading below its 20 & 50 day moving average but is above its 100 day moving average
 

Technical indications that the selloff is nearing its end.

By Anthony Mirhaydari May 14, 2010 8:46PM

Although stocks ended the week higher, the bears unleashed a barrage of artillery fire on Friday as all the good feelings from last weekend's European bailout gave way to renewed worries over the future of the eurozone.

 

Stocks dropped, the bond market was pressured, the euro plunged, and the dollar rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 162 points or 1.5%, capping a two-day loss of 3.2%.

 

Last week, I wrote that it was likely we would see another large decline before a sustained rebound rally got underway. We obviously got that this week. But now, there are a few glimmers of hope to lighten what was otherwise a dark and dreadful session.

 

Middleby is set to benefit as customers put in orders in an improving economy.

By Jim J. Jubak May 14, 2010 6:17PM

Jim JubakGiven the mood of the market right now, Middleby's (MIDD) earnings report Wednesday was a perfect storm of bad news. 


The supplier of commercial food service and food processing equipment missed Wall Street earnings estimates for the first quarter by eight cents a share and revenue fell by 11.5% from the first quarter of 2009.


And nobody wanted to hear a word of explanation. The stock fell on the news by 6.4% on Thursday.

 

The company closes down its effort to sell the Nexus One phone exclusively online.

By Kim Peterson May 14, 2010 4:26PM
Google Nexus One phone. Credit: (© Jeff Chiu/AP)Gotta give Google (GOOG) credit for trying, but in the end its attempt to disrupt the wireless industry fell flat.

The company is closing the online store it opened in January to sell the Nexus One phone. The idea was revolutionary: Customers would buy the phone directly from Google's online store, instead of the traditional route of going through a carrier first.

You could buy the Nexus One for $179 with a two-year plan with T-Mobile, or buy an unlocked version for $529. The future that Google envisioned was one where customers could buy any phone they wanted and then take it to their favorite carrier for service. 

Europe's debt crisis has shaken US markets recently, but it could have bullish results.

By John Reese May 14, 2010 3:39PM

Greece's debt woes and their spillover into other parts of Europe have been bad news for the euro, with the currency plummeting toward levels it hasn't seen in four years. And the pain is spilling over into the U.S. markets, hitting the major indices hard. 

 

But once the initial fears subside, will Europe's troubles, and the euro's accompanying plunge, be bad news for stock investors going forward? Not necessarily. For one thing, the recent crisis has hammered European stocks -- including those of many solid, stable companies that are now selling at bargain prices.

For another, the euro's decline may actually help European companies that have substantial global operations, or that are major exporters. 

 

The company loses a round in its ongoing legal battle against Dish Network and EchoStar.

By Kim Peterson May 14, 2010 2:38PM
TiVo (TIVO) investors are overreacting just a little, don't you think?

Shares of the company have fallen more than 40% Friday after TiVo lost a round in court against Dish Network (DISH) and EchoStar (SATS). Now, those two companies have been given the green light to make their case again in court.

Basically, the issue revolves around whether Dish and EchoStar are using digital video recording technology that TiVo has patented. A previous court said in March that the two companies were guilty -- and TiVo shares jumped in response. 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Wednesday session on an upbeat note with the Nasdaq (+1.3%) ending in the lead. The S&P 500 settled higher by 1.1% with all ten sectors posting gains.

The benchmark index spent the entire trading day in the green, rallying to new highs during the last hour of action. The tech-heavy Nasdaq, meanwhile, briefly dipped into the red during morning action, but was able to recover swiftly.

Stocks began the trading day with modest gains ... More


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