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Investors know what's working and what's not. Jim Cramer says these stocks could power higher through the end of the year.

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Never mind the sentiment surveys. The maker of custom furniture is a better barometer of consumer confidence.

By Jim Cramer Oct 8, 2010 8:52AM

jim cramer of thestreetBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

Do we feel more confident? Do we feel confident enough to buy something expensive rather than go to Ikea? Maybe go to Ethan Allen (ETH) instead and get our own furniture, designed by us, rather than something from the showroom?

 

To gauge consumer sentiment -- something incredibly important because the consumer represents about 70% of our economy -- I have always used Best Buy (BBY), Tiffany (TIF), Nordstrom (JWN) and Coach (COH). You don't go to any of those if you are feeling down in the dumps.

 

But after speaking to Farooq Kathwari, the long-time CEO of Ethan Allen, I am wondering if traffic and purchases from his high-end furniture company aren't a better gauge. And if I am right, then we are feeling better, doing better, and much of the credit has to go to the stock market.

 

The food and beverage giant drops its full-year guidance, and its stock takes a hit.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 7, 2010 4:16PM

Jim JubakThis isn't the way to start off third-quarter earnings season. 


Before the New York Stock Exchange opened Thursday, PepsiCo (PEP) reported third-quarter earnings of $1.22 a share, exactly matching Wall Street analysts' consensus. Revenue came in at $15.51 billion, slightly above the consensus projection of $15.38 billion. 


But the stock was around $66, down about 3% late Thursday. Why? Guidance for the fourth quarter.

 

Ctrip International has a leg up on looming competitors

By Wall Street Media on MSN Money Oct 7, 2010 3:24PM

Written by Douglas Estadt


Not long ago, Baidu (BIDU), China’s No. 1 search engine, was facing criticism because of media claims that it would be beaten by bigger and better competitors when China Mobile said they were entering the search market.  


As an established brand name and favorite of Chinese internet users, BIDU continues to grow at incredible rates quarter-over-quarter and the stock price has risen substantially. Investors who took the empty words of people who write about but don't successfully trade stocks sold their BIDU shares and missed 45% upside in BIDU in a few months.

 

Shipments are still sliding. The industry cites high unemployment, but what if that's wrong?

By Kim Peterson Oct 7, 2010 2:44PM
Beer © CorbisHey, a convention of beer distributors is in Chicago this week. That ought to be a good time, right?

Not this year. The beer industry is reeling as sales continue to slump, and none of the usual gimmicks and promotions are persuading people to drink more. Beer executives are groaning under the pressure.

"They're the worst trends we've ever seen," Benj Steinman, the president of Beer Marketer's Insights, told Advertising Age. Overall, beer shipments have dropped 2.1% in the first eight months of this year -- and that's on top of a miserable decline in 2009. 

A new survey finds the nation's wealthiest aren't planning to spend much more this year.

By Kim Peterson Oct 7, 2010 1:37PM
Shopping for deals © CorbisHow much will families spend on gifts this holiday? That's a key question for retailers heading into the critical fourth quarter.

The news isn't good. The wealthiest people in the country -- those with a net worth of $800,000 or more -- say they won't spend as much on gifts this year, according to the American Affluence Research Center.

The survey found that this group expects to spend about $2,370, on average, down from $2,399 last year (that's the total spent by all adults in the household). Only 3% said they plan to spend more, while 28% intend to spend less, The Wall Street Journal reported. And 12% said they won't buy gifts at all. 

A JPMorgan analyst cites iPhone and iPad sales over any deal with Verizon.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 7, 2010 12:31PM

Credit: (© Paul Sakuma/AP)
Caption: Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds the new iPhone 4By Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

Bullish but not banking on the Verizon (VZ) iPhone, JPMorgan jacked up Apple's (AAPL) price target to $400 Thursday.

 

The research note comes after yet another report that Apple is ending its iPhone exclusivity with AT&T (T) and preparing to launch sales of the iconic device at No. 1 mobile shop Verizon early next year.

 

In a note titled "Plenty of Growth Left," JPMorgan analyst Mark Moskowitz said the Verizon iPhone will boost Apple's earnings 11% annually, or $2 a share. But Moskowitz does not base his financial projections or his $400 price target on the possibility of the iPhone going to Verizon. Instead, Moskowitz is more jazzed about the current strength of iPhone and iPad sales this year.

 

These shares are bargains with proven track records.

By InvestorPlace Oct 7, 2010 10:42AM

Penny © CorbisBy Louis Navellier, InvestorPlace.com


Penny stock investing doesn’t have to be a crap shoot on long-shot stocks. Done well, penny stocks can be a great way to diversify your portfolio and really amp up your investment profits. While penny stock investing can be risky, it can also be very rewarding.


I recommend finding bargain penny stocks traded on major exchanges, for no less than $1 a share and with a proven track record. These penny stock investments should show significant earnings growth and strong buying pressure behind shares, increasing the likelihood that these stocks will be on the way up in the very near future.

 

Stifled Wednesday by its tech peers, Apple stock languished despite renewed rumors of a Verizon iPhone in the works. Don't expect it to sit still today.

By Jim Cramer Oct 7, 2010 8:57AM

jim cramerBy Jim Cramer, TheStreet

 

How much would Apple (AAPL) have gone up Wednesday if it weren't for Equinix (EQIX), which plummeted 33% after the company lowered its revenue outlook and took the rest of cloud-computing tech -- Citrix (CTXS)/Red Hat (RHT), Rackspace (RAX), F5 Networks (FFIV) and VMWare (VMW) -- down with it?

 

How much do they not matter for Apple?

 

Tuesday night I was out with one of the best hedge fund managers in America, and he wanted to take issue with my endless support for Apple. He couldn't believe, given the service of AT&T (T), that I could ever in good conscience recommend the stock.

 

I said to watch what happens when Verizon (VZ) gets the iPhone. He said he would believe it when he sees it.

 

The partnership sees a drop from projected profits, but that isn't any reason to sell.

By Jim J. Jubak Oct 6, 2010 6:36PM

Jim JubakAs bad news goes, this isn't a big dose, but it should be a reminder to investors looking for extra yield in today's ultra-low-yield environment that higher yields always come with higher risk.


Oneok Partners (OKS) is one of my favorites for getting a good deal more yield with only slightly more risk. The master limited partnership pays a yield of 5.96% versus the 2.34% yield on the 10-year Treasury.


But "only slightly more" risk doesn't mean no risk.

 

Confidence has reached extreme levels as leading indicators warn of trouble. Yes, we're headed for better days, but the road will be rough.

By Anthony Mirhaydari Oct 6, 2010 4:46PM

Rewind a few months, to when Wall Street was deep in despair as concerns over Europe and the viability of the euro shook the markets. Add in concerns over financial regulatory reform, the government's case against Goldman Sachs (GS), the BP (BP) oil spill and the May 6 "flash crash." Investors had a lot to worry about.

 

But all that's changed now. Europe has bounced back, as I anticipated in this column, with the iShares Germany (EWG) up 28% from its May low. And the economy, thanks to the increase in business spending that I predicted back in August, is showing new signs of life.

 

All sunshine and lollipops, right? Well, not quite. While fundamentals determine the long-term trajectory of the market -- and still look good, as I discussed recently -- short-term movements are still driven by technical factors. And right now, they suggest caution is warranted.

 

Dozens of outlets nationwide lay down a new law: No teenagers without parents.

By Kim Peterson Oct 6, 2010 3:18PM
Shopping for deals © Big Cheese Photo/SuperStockThe shopping mall may no longer be hangout central for the bored American teen -- and that could affect sales at Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), American Eagle (AEO) and other retailers.

Shopping centers across the country are considering ways to ban the teen mall rat, ABC News reports. Dozens of malls now have a "parental escort policy" on weekend nights, requiring people younger than 18 to have a parent or guardian nearby.

The policy is intended to remove the potential for trouble (shoplifting and fighting) that can erupt when kids get together without supervision. But does this also remove the potential for teen sales? 

Brought to its knees by a fierce discount battle, the grocery industry is starting to raise prices.

By Kim Peterson Oct 6, 2010 2:25PM
Shopping for deals © CorbisGrocery stores have been fighting a tough war on prices, desperate to lure discount-hungry customers. But now it looks like that battle may be ending.

The price war was great for shoppers, many of whom cut their spending dramatically as the recession lingered. But was it good for grocery stores and food producers? Not so much.

Sales and promotions were everywhere, and as a result no company came out a winner, Reuters reported. In fact, the discounts were so deep that even the bump in sales couldn't restore the bottom line. 

The automaker may have underestimated what it would take to develop its mainstream electric car and the price it can sell for.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 6, 2010 12:46PM

thestreetCredit: (© Craig Ruttle/AP)
Caption: Tesla Roadster electric carBy Eric Jackson, TheStreet

 

Tesla Motors (TSLA) went public last June in one of the few IPOs of the year.

 

It had the support of high-profile underwriters Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), JP Morgan (JPM), and Deutsche Bank (DB), as well as many well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalists.

 

It priced at $17, the top end of its range, and soared 41% on its first day of trading. It's still trading more than 24% above its IPO price three months later.

 

The comfort-food restaurant chain gets top marks from analysts who cover the casual-dining industry.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 6, 2010 12:15PM

thestreetCredit: (© Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Caption: Cracker Barrel storeBy Jake Lynch, TheStreet

 

Cracker Barrel (CBRL) is succeeding in the dog-eat-dog restaurant industry with old-fashioned American charm. The eatery has outperformed the closely watched Knapp-Track Index of comparable-store traffic for 16 consecutive quarters.

 

Analysts are bullish on Cracker Barrel, which is less sensitive to changes in the economy than its casual-dining competitors because of its lower-priced dishes. The southern chain serves comfort food, with a menu that includes Country Meat 'n' Biscuits and Apple Streusel French Toast. Breakfast is served all day, with separate lunch and dinner menus.

 

A retail store is attached to each restaurant, selling collectibles, old-fashioned toys and penny candy. This restaurant-retail concept is rarely used in the restaurant industry but seems to be succeeding. Cracker Barrel posted a comparable-restaurant sales gain of 2% and a comparable-retail-sales increase of 2.6% in the latest reporting period.

 

Hoping to smooth the checkout process on its Android Market, Google will roll out PayPal in 3 weeks.

By TheStreet Staff Oct 6, 2010 10:06AM

technology and business news from the streetCredit: (© Eric Risberg/AP)
Caption: Droid Incredible cell phoneBy Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

Google (GOOG) has finally enlisted eBay's (EBAY)PayPal service and is preparing to launch the payment system on its Android OS later this month.

 

The two Internet giants have been moving closer to an agreement in recent weeks. Now sources familiar with the situation say the deal is all but sealed, with an announcement coming as early as Oct. 26 during the PayPal developers' conference in San Francisco.

 

The move would help smooth a bumpy checkout system on Android Market, and it would also bring Google closer to the type of seamless payment process that Apple (AAPL) manages at its iTunes and App Store.

 

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[BRIEFING.COM] The headlines generally favored Tuesday being another good day for the stock market.  Instead, it was just a mixed day with modest point changes on either side of the unchanged mark for the major indices.

For the most part, the stock market was a sideshow.  The main trading events were seen in the commodity and Treasury markets, both of which saw some decent-sized losses within their respective complex.

Dollar strength was at the heart of the weakness in ... More


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