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A good hiding spot can be tough to find, but shares in utilities and food and drugs still provide some shelter from a stormy market.

By Jim Cramer Aug 11, 2010 9:29AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Defense is tough to find, and not just because the secretary of defense is cutting back on spending!

 

I am talking about how hard it is to be sure you are hiding in the right places if you think the Fed is saying "Look, rates are going to be low forever because business is going to be bad forever."

 

For some investors, that means stocks like Consolidated Edison(ED) and Exelon(EXC). You know I am totally on board with that. These are big, safe plays that are levered to industrial production -- that's who uses a huge percentage of the energy these utilities generate -- and so you see the earnings, whether from DTE Energy (DTE) or Con Ed or Exelon. And though they have run, I can't countenance selling them just because Ben has told you that rates aren't going up, and you don't make jack on short-term money.

 

Netflix is clearly gambling that the future is digital.

By TheWrap Aug 10, 2010 4:48PM
A new pact between cable channel Epix and Netflix to stream movies online makes the video rental giant a pay-TV player, whether it admits it or not.


After Tuesday's agreement, Showtime and HBO should start looking over their shoulder, because make no mistake, Netflix is playing on their turf.


Under the agreement, Netflix subscribers will get to stream box-office hits such as "The Last Airbender" and "Iron Man 2" 90 days after their premium pay TV and subscription deals.

 

The fast-food chain looks abroad as US sales falter.

By InvestorPlace Aug 10, 2010 3:36PM

Russia © Radius Images/JupiterimagesWendy’s Arby’s Group (WEN) is hoping Russians have a taste for roast beef sandwiches and Old Fashioned hamburgers.

 

The restaurant company announced today that it plans on opening 180 restaurants in Russia within the next 10 years. Both Arby’s and Wendy’s locations will begin popping up all over the country, officials announced.

The move marks the fourth international play by the fast-food company, as it opened 100 restaurants in Turkey in June. Last year, WEN announced the creation of 80 burger joints in the Middle East/Africa, along with 35 in Singapore.

 

CEO Roland Smith cited Russia’s long-term expansion potential as the key decision for the move.

 

Coal is gaining market share at utilities, which will help producers like Peabody Energy.

By Jim J. Jubak Aug 10, 2010 3:26PM

Jim JubakIf China is the story in coal -- and I think it is, since China is now the No. 1 energy consumer and uses about three times as much coal as the U.S. does -- then Peabody Energy (BTU) is the story among coal companies.


In reporting its second-quarter earnings, the company said it expects global net coal imports to grow by 30% in 2010.

China is the driver of demand.


But the country isn't alone. India's coal imports are up 22% in 2010, and Peabody estimates that imports will finish the year up 20% from the total for 2009.

 

Temperatures have been on the rise worldwide, creating revenue opportunities for utilities and beverage makers.

By Kim Peterson Aug 10, 2010 1:44PM
Heat wave © David Gould / PhotographerHoo boy, it's hot outside. And that means big money for some companies that profit when the temperature soars.

The heat wave hasn't just affected the U.S. So far this year, temperatures worldwide are the highest since we began measuring them 130 years ago, the Financial Times reports.

So who sees a revenue spike when things heat up? The most obvious companies are the utilities. Over the past month power consumption in the U.S. is up 10% from a year ago, the FT reports. 

Here are 5 reasons the former top automaker's days are numbered.

By Louis Navellier Aug 10, 2010 12:06PM

Car insurance © AbleStock/Jupiterimages After the U.S. government bailed out Chrysler and GM in early 2009, many people were afraid it was the end of Detroit as the auto capital of the world.


But a year and a half later, GM is making big strides -- a leaner fleet with fewer brands and a lot of hype behind its innovative Volt electric car are connecting with consumers. GM made a first-quarter profit of $865 million and is expected to post a second-quarter profit Thursday, which is boosting prospects for an IPO in the coming months.

 

Chrysler, on the other hand, has failed to stop the bleeding. In its latest earnings report, Chrysler posted a deep quarterly loss of $127 million and continues to suffer from a large debt load. To top it off, the company is way behind the rest of the auto industry when it comes to cost-conscious, fuel-efficient automobiles that connect with the current market.

 

With rival Redbox on the offensive, Netflix announces a deal with Epix to offer more streaming content.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 10, 2010 11:08AM

more business and company news from the streetCredit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
Caption: Netflix DVDBy Jeanine Poggi, TheStreet

 

Netflix (NFLX) announced a deal today that will broaden its library of streaming movies. The news comes as the movie rental retailer struggles to maintain its superior footing.

 

Netflix entered into a multi-year deal with Epix, a joint venture between Viacom (VIA) (parent company of Paramount Pictures), MGM and Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF).

 

Netflix will begin streaming their movies to customers on Sept. 1.

 

As consumers traded cappuccinos for K-Cups during the recession, Green Mountain experienced meteoric expansion.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 10, 2010 9:43AM

business news from the streetBy Jake Lynch, TheStreet

 

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) was the small-cap stock pick of the Great Recession.

 

It has returned 63%, annualized, since 2007, outperforming stock market indexes by a wide margin. Meteoric expansion powered the shares. During the past three years, when the economy contracted, Green Mountain increased sales 56% a year, on average, and net income 74% a year.


A recession-tuned strategy endeared the Waterbury, Vt., company to Wall Street in 2008, and it has continued to surprise analysts and investors during the recovery with its aggressive growth.

 

While investors shook off Friday's dismal employment numbers, a surprise trade surplus from China threatens to rattle the market.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 10, 2010 8:41AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Can the Retail HLDRs Trust (RTH), the retail ETF, hold on against the pending onslaught I see coming?

 

We got a Chinese trade surplus surprise last night that makes the yuan likely to appreciate again. That was the precipitant -- the big, bad event -- that drove RTH down to levels from which it only recently recovered.

 

It particularly affected the apparel makers -- Ralph Lauren (RL), Jones (JNY), VF Corp (VFC) and Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH) -- because the "smart money" decided that China is the only place these companies import from.

 

Wall Street ponders the next step for monetary policy.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Aug 10, 2010 8:10AM

MirhaydariAll eyes will be on the Federal Reserve today as members of the Open Market Committee conclude their interest rate policy meeting.

 

While most Wall Street economists don't expect any radical steps to be taken, a consensus opinion is beginning to emerge: With job growth anemic, the Fed is likely to embark and a second, smaller round of quantitative easing, or QE. This would involve the Fed's reinvesting the proceeds from its existing QE-related purchases, which would keep the money supply from shrinking and ensure that long-term interest rates stay low.

The first stage, you'll remember, started back in March 2009 and resulted in the Fed's buying up $1.4 trillion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage securities. This funneled extra cash into the capital markets and helped stabilize the economy.

 

Would create 'two' internets, one public and one that would charge extra for higher-priority services, which could include better-quality movie downloads

By TheWrap Aug 9, 2010 5:32PM

Google and Verizon on Monday formally announced a joint agreement on handling internet content that would severely impact net neutrality.


As reported on TheWrap last week, the agreement could lead to movie studios being charged extra if they want to deliver high-quality downloads of films over the web.


Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg made the announcement in a call with the media. They suggested the plan would ensure freedom of choice for consumers but also let internet service providers attract the investment needed to expand and improve the speed of internet connections.

 
Tags: Internet

With attendance and TV ratings down, Nascar looks for ways to bring back fans.

By Kim Peterson Aug 9, 2010 4:40PM
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (© Rusty Burroughs/AP)As the recession starts to fade away (we hope), Nascar is trying to bring fans back to the racetrack. If the fans return, then the corporate sponsors will too.

While attendance is down at most sporting events, Nascar has suffered more than other sports leagues, The New York Times reports. Even its television ratings are down, which has also killed lucrative sponsorships.

The Times asks a question the entire sport is likely grappling with: Will Nascar ever return to its cash-fueled glory days, when it could paper entire racetracks with $100 bills? 

Luxury retailer Coach plans to open 30 new locations in China in the next year.

By Jim J. Jubak Aug 9, 2010 3:20PM

Jim JubakFor a while, the slowdown in North American sales in the U.S. recession obscured exactly how good a job Coach (COH) was doing at cutting costs and expanding in China. 


No more. 


Growth in North America is back, the company announced in a fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report released before the New York Stock Exchange opened Tuesday.

 

The companies push for Net neutrality. Unless, of course, they happen to own the network.

By Kim Peterson Aug 9, 2010 3:05PM
Crystal ball © Thinkstock/JupiterimagesAfter all the excitement last week about Google (GOOG) and Verizon (VZ) supposedly corrupting the Internet with a nefarious money-making plan, the two companies have issued a statement that doesn't say much.

Together, they have come up with a legislative framework proposal for lawmakers to consider. And it's all very open, saying that Internet providers shouldn't discriminate and must let users access whatever they want online, so long as it's legal.

But there's a big exception laid out for wireless companies. Not that surprising, considering Verizon is the biggest wireless player in the country. 

AT&T and Bank of America round out the top three charitable donators of 2009.

By InvestorPlace Aug 9, 2010 2:48PM

Wal-Mart logo © WalmartIf your charity is looking for a large lump of cash, think about asking companies like Wal-Mart (WMT), AT&T (T) or Bank of America (BAC). In its yearly report, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported the most generous companies of 2009, and those three headline the list.

 

Wal-Mart took the top spot, having donated more than $288 million in cash last year.  AT&T and Bank of America were not far behind with $240 million and $209 million donated, respectively.  Wells Fargo (WFC) and ExxonMobil (XOM) rounded out the top five.

While these companies certainly dished out the dough, it is worth noting that most of these giants donated much less than they had in previous years.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market continued its strong start to the week with a broad-based Tuesday rally that sent the S&P 500 higher by 0.5%. Nine of ten sectors registered gains while the benchmark index extended its week-to-date advance to 1.4%.

Equities received an opening boost from a pair of economic data points that crossed the wires this morning. An in-line CPI report suggested inflationary pressures remain contained, while a better than expected Housing Starts report ... More


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