Jim Cramer asks, why pay any attention to letters from a manager who lost money in the first quarter?
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Atomic force microscopes and plenty of PhD's go into rebranding the struggling hair care brand
Pantene, the hair care line that generates $3 billion for personal products giant Procter and Gamble (PG), is no stranger to makeovers. And after the recession drove consumers into the arms of cheaper rivals, Pantene is reinventing itself yet again – the third rebranding since 1999 – in an effort to reconnect with consumers.
According to Business Week, some of the big ideas behind more than two years of research and reformulation include both an “atomic force microscope, similar to one used on NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, and micro-computed tomography, used to measure bone density” to ensure the shampoos were truly making hair healthier.
Both companies are still behind Exxon Mobil on the S&P 500 index, however.
All it took Wednesday was a little bump in Apple's (AAPL) price, and a tiny drop in Microsoft's (MSFT), and bam: Apple became the world's most valuable technology company.
Apple shares closed Wednesday at just over $244, making its market cap about $222.9 billion. Microsoft shares dropped about 4%, bringing its market cap down to $218.7 billion.
Both companies are still behind Exxon Mobil (XOM), which is the largest company on the S&P index and valued at about $279 billion. But the way Apple has been going, Exxon could be steamrolled soon.
Marvell Technology shares popped after its last earnings report, but performance has slipped.
I don't know how long this bounce will run -- it could go to 1220 or so on the Standard & Poor's 500 or be cut short by investors selling into strength -- but I would like to lighten up on technology for the summer quarters.
Marvell Technology is the most volatile of my tech holdings. That will be good news when the group rallies, but right now it exposes me to more risk than I'd like. (For more on my short-term take on the market, see this post).
Gold prices rise as investors seek a safe haven from uncertainty in Europe.
By Alix Steel, TheStreet
Gold prices were rising Wednesday as jittery investors sought safety from global economic uncertainty.
Gold delivery for June was rising $15.50, or 1.3%, to $1,213.30 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold has traded as high as $1,216.90 and as low as $1,201.
The U.S. dollar index was rising 0.75% to $87 while the euro was falling 1.14% to $1.22 against the dollar after hitting an eight-year low on Tuesday. The spot gold price Wednesday was adding more than $11, according to Kitco's gold index.
A Kansas employee tried to stop a man from walking out of the store with a computer.
The employee, who worked at a store in Wichita, Kan., tried to stop a man from leaving the store with a computer, McClatchy newspapers reports. She was fired, she says, because busting shoplifters was not part of her job description.
Heather Ravenstein said she was at the store last week and saw a man set off alarms by carrying a computer out the door. She confronted him and asked him for his receipt, at which point he reportedly kicked and punched her. He dropped the computer and ran away.
The joint with a cult following is growing slowly, but could still teach McDonald's and Burger King a thing or two.
In-N-Out Burger, a privately held West Coast fast-food chain with a rabid and almost cultlike following, has been slow to expand beyond California because of its rather unusual business practices. But the In-N-Out philosophy has also resulted in unmatched popularity that has current locations swamped. The only thing to do is open more stores.
And if the rumor mill has any truth to it, the next In-N-Out Burger location is due for Dallas -- a sign that the company may be reaching eastward and looking to take a bite out of McDonald’s (MCD),Burger King (BKC) and other fast-food stocks.
Alcoa, American Express and Bank of America had the biggest Dow drops during the past month's selloff.
By Jake Lynch, TheStreet
The US stock market has reached an inflection point in its attempt to price the risk of European fiscal fallout. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) has fallen 10% since Apr. 26. However, its biggest laggards could offer its best buying opportunities.
1. Alcoa (AA) has fallen 20% since Apr. 26.
Quarter: Alcoa's first-quarter loss narrowed 60% to $201 million, or 19 cents, from the year-earlier loss. Revenue grew 18%. The operating margin turned positive. Alcoa has $1.3 billion of cash and $9.8 billion of debt, equal to a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.8.
Here's why China's plan to create a 'soft landing' for its economy will counteract uncertainty in Europe.
Eureka! I think I have found out what all of the bears who talk about the destruction of Greece, Spain or the euro really fear. I think they fear Chinese growth.
It seems silly, but we have to remember that there are two kinds of risks that Europe poses to the world: systemic -- think Lehman -- and growth -- think commodities. Many of the people who talk about how these risks could send the Dow ($INDU) down to 8,260 -- my disaster scenario -- may need these factors to remain front and center to keep their predictions in intact.
They ignore the budget cuts being put through and corporate assurances that business is still good in Europe. They dismiss anything that says we aren't double-dipping because of Europe.
Well, not everything. They can't dismiss China.
No more trades slipping your mind
Written by Douglas Estadt
Howard Lindzon, founder of StockTwits.com, shares news about an online trading innovation that will mean no more forgotten trades or delays in the time between you seeing a good trade and when you open another window and log in to your online brokerage account.
Zap Trade, powered by Zecco Trading, is now available exclusively at StockTwits. It is a free floating movable window on your screen which at the click of a button displays a free real time quote and a trading window in which to enter your order. We think it is a true trading breakthrough that will be a boon to busy online traders.
There are worries that Chinese orders for molybdenum will fall off and prices will decline.
They don't call these stocks cyclical for no reason.
Shares of Thompson Creek Metals (TC), the world's largest publicly traded, pure-play molybdenum producer, are down almost 40% from their Apr. 5 high on fears that the world economy, and especially China's part of it, is slowing. A slowdown would mean less steel production, lower demand for molybdenum, and falling molybdenum prices.
Thompson Creek's first-quarter earnings, reported on May 5, were solid. The company earned 17 cents a share (excluding a charge due to the Canadian company's conversion to U.S. accounting standards), up from 9 cents in the first quarter of 2009.
As the business of craft beer grows, the future of the industry is thrown into question.
The beer industry is in full debate over the future of craft beers. Heck, even the definition of craft beer is being questioned at this point.
For example, is the maker of Sam Adams a craft brewery? The industry says a craft brewer makes fewer than 2 billion barrels of beer annually, and is not more than 25% controlled by a non-craft brewer, according to The Atlantic.
But the Boston Beer Company (SAM), which makes Sam Adams, is about ready to surpass 2 million barrels, writes Clay Risen. Does that make it a corporate brewer?
For the second time in a week, there are reports that talks have failed, but this time neither side denies it.
The Walt Disney Co.’s (DIS) sale of Miramax to Harvey and Bob Weinstein and their group of financial backers appears to have failed.
An individual close to the talks said on Tuesday that talks had broken down a week ago. But Harvey Weinstein and his financial backer, billionaire Ron Burkle, has issued a statement last Friday saying talks were ongoing.
But on Tuesday, there was no such denial forthcoming. Neither side would comment for the record about the state of the talks.
As rumors swirl of a new iPhone model in the works, Wal-Mart begins to clear out inventory.
Actually, it looks like more of an attempt to unload inventory before the phone becomes obsolete. Apple (AAPL) is likely to unveil its newest iPhone at a developers conference next month.
Wal-Mart says the sale is part of "ongoing aggressive savings announcements," but people think the retailer is trying to clear some room before the new iPhone hits the market, Digital Daily reports.
A certain soft-drink maker recently boosted its yield and also offers good upside potential.
It has been a brutal May for most investors. The Dow was down about 10% so far as of the opening bell today, the S&P 500 was down 11%, and the Nasdaq off 12%. Those figures have only gotten worse as the day has dragged on.
So where do we go now? The recent sell-off has touched all corners of the market, with even the "safe haven" of gold taking a tumble. My recommendation to you: Hide out in great blue-chip stocks with upside potential for shares and a healthy dividend to help you ride things out when the market gets rocky.
Community banks still suffering, despite signs of overall industry improvement.
By Philip van Doorn, TheStreet
While the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported improved earnings at more than half of U.S. banks and savings and loan associations last week, the ranks of troubled community banks continued to swell.
Based on a full set of first-quarter regulator data provided by SNL Financial for the nation's 7,900 banks and savings and loan associations, 161 were undercapitalized, according to the guidelines that apply to most institutions.
SNL's list is sorted by state, city and name of the undercapitalized bank or thrift. The Watch List of 161 institutions is down from 163 in February, although 49 of the institutions on the previous list have already failed.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages hover near their respective flat lines after slumping from their opening highs.
The technology sector (+0.8%) continues trading well ahead of the remaining groups, but the earnings-driven strength of the sector has not translated into buying interest in other areas of the market. Outside of technology, only consumer staples (+0.2%), and utilities (+0.6%) trade in the green.
On the downside, the health care sector (-0.5%) lags amid renewed ... More
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