Once you get past the hype, there's little chance for long-term gain with this stock.
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The company resurrects dot-com flop Webvan. Will the home-delivery model work 10 years after the original company went bankrupt?
By Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
It's been a great few years for Amazon.com (AMZN), with an estimated 40% sales growth in 2010 and its stock up 250% in the past two years. The breakout success of its Kindle e-reader and continued strength in its online retail business have made Amazon one of the top stock picks on Wall Street.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Amazon is cooking up a sales strategy that will really turn some heads: a free weekly home-delivery service, bringing baby care products, groceries and cosmetics right to your doorstep.
Some observers say it's going to revolutionize Amazon's business model. Others see shades of a dot-com flop that bled cash until it went bankrupt. Here are the details so you can judge for yourself:
AMZN has been testing a delivery service, AmazonTote, in its hometown of Seattle since last summer. The program involves free home delivery once a week on a specified day of the customer's choice, and the delivery is made regardless of order value.
While other investors wait for the next shoe to drop, ETF traders should stay long and strong.
If you like roller coasters, this market is for you. Up one day, down the next is likely to be the path for stocks in 2011.
Such a trajectory is just one more reason to be a buy-and-hold trader in the early going of trading this year. The quickest way to profits is patience.
Each week brings a different story that frankly is almost entirely impossible to predict. That said, when stocks are up, they are really up. When they are down, the decline is modest.
The current market environment screams for aggressiveness. One of the more aggressive exchange-traded funds investors can play this week is the ProShares Ultra Oil & Gas (DIG).
Oil and gas markets are ripe for an explosion. So far, oil is being held back by aggressive hedge funds that are betting against the global recovery. Those traders will likely be proved wrong.
A brutal retreat may be in store for some industrial and rail shares that have had a prolonged advance from last year.
A thrust too far. That's how so many of the charts feel today, almost as if the charging bull-market armies overshot their supply lines and now are isolated way in front of their old lines without ammo. That means they are ready to be encircled by bearish attackers, with a retreat to the 30-week moving average -- a brutal retreat -- in the cards.
I feel that way in particular about the big industrials that have shot up so much so hard, like Parker-Hannifin (PH), that couldn't deliver what was wanted no matter what.
Anything that has had a prolonged advance from last year seems so vulnerable that you can hear the stock charts saying, "Pull back, regroup."
There are anomalies. General Electric (GE) feels a year behind these players and is building a solid advance. Really solid, and it looks like it can hold and run. Maybe even to $22.
Investors have enjoyed a great rally in emerging markets, but a real correction could be ahead this year.
While large stocks push to new highs, a lack of participation by smaller issues warns of trouble.
Stocks have largely been moving lower over the last two days. But the severity of the decline depends on which market index you like to watch. If you're like most retail investors, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) is your preferred benchmark. And it's managed to push to new highs on an intra-day basis Friday.
But it's a much different story for rest of the market, especially the small cap issues in the Russell 2000 (RUT) which are now down more than 4% over the past week. Frequently, you'll see big disparities in the performance of small cap stocks vs. the mega cap stocks at turning points -- almost as if the Wall Street heavy hitters want to throw the investing public, who closely track the Dow, off the scent.
To use another metaphor, think of small stocks as the infantry of an army. If they desert the battlefield, like they are now, the generals still on the field get slaughtered. A healthy market is led by small stocks -- since they are the most sensitive to the economic and liquidity catalysts that push and pull the equity trade. The opposite is happening now.
Apple thwarts DIY owners with special screws that make basic maintenance difficult.
The idea is to keep people from opening the devices to replace the battery. But Apple isn't telling customers about it, Reuters reports. That won't sit well with some iPhone users.
"If you took your car in for service and they welded your hood shut, you wouldn't be very happy" one Apple parts supplier told Reuters.
The move stands to boost the revenue Apple gets from replacing the phone's batteries. Apple charges users $79 to replace the battery of an iPhone that is no longer under warranty.
The company reportedly has hired Goldman Sachs to find potential suitors. The stock jumps 27% in heavy trading.
By Theresa McCabe, TheStreet
Several potential suitors, including buyout firm KKR (KKR), have approached Warner Music in recent months about buying the record company, the New York Times reported, citing an executive familiar with the matter. As of 2 p.m., the shares were up 27% to $6.
The reports are emerging on the same day Warner Music announced that a Paris court had found CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. guilty of charges related to transactions Bronfman made in Vivendi Universal stock in 2002. The court accused Bronfman of insider trading. He was the vice chairman of Vivendi at the time.
The court will fine him and issue a suspended sentence. Bronfman said in a statement today that he will appeal the decision, saying, "My trades were proper."
These heavyweights provide great exposure to various segments of the oil industry.
If you think the demand for oil is going to dry up soon, this article is probably not for you. If you're in the majority, however, you should read on as Jordan DiPietro makes the case for buying a basket of energy.
Rex Moore, Motley Fool Top Stocks editor
If you believe, like I do, that rising oil and gas prices will continue into the near and distant future, then having a basket of energy stocks in your portfolio is a great way to play the rising tide.
In fact, the Energy Information Administration is forecasting 2011 oil prices to average $93 per barrel, $14 more than last year. Prices, according to the EIA, should top out close to $100 by 2012. As demand continues and the incentive for energy companies to add reserves intensifies, oil companies in all facets of the game should stand to benefit. That's why I'm adding a $2,000 position that includes four energy companies to my Motley Fool real-money portfolio.
Shares of the highflying tech stock plummeted 20% Thursday on a weak sales forecast, providing investors with an attractive entry point, analysts say.
By Robert Holmes, TheStreet
Still, analysts and investors are saying now's the time to buy more shares in the maker of cloud-computing software, including Catharine Trebnick, a senior research analyst with Avian Securities; Credit Suisse's Paul Silverstein; Piper Jaffray's Troy Jensen; and Mark Schultz, the manager of the MTB Mid-Cap Growth Fund.
By some accounts, he was looking to jump but was also pushed out.
Schmidt "lost some energy and focus" after Google decided to pull out of China, sources tell Auletta. Schmidt wanted to Google to stay in China and was overruled by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
Schmidt was pushed out, Auletta reports. But he wanted to jump as well, having felt the strain of numerous business complications. Google has gone nowhere in social networking, getting outmaneuvered by Facebook at every turn.
Google is also a point of controversy in some countries, facing challenges over privacy and size issues, Auletta reports. Finally, Page and Brin were "restive." Auletta interviewed Schmidt 11 times for his book "Googled" and knows the company better than just about any other journalist, so I'm guessing there's basis to his reporting.
Jeffrey Immelt will advise a council that aims to get US companies hiring again.
Immelt is essentially the new Paul Volcker, as his panel replaces one previously led by the former Federal Reserve chairman. Immelt's immediate job is to figure out how to get U.S. companies to start hiring.
The pick certainly says a lot about Obama's thinking heading into the 2012 election. He needs to make significant headway with big business -- it doesn't get much bigger than GE -- and he must turn the employment picture around.
Immelt, a lifelong Republican, is entirely qualified for the job. He's already on the board of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, and he spent two years on the economic recovery board that Volcker chaired.
Starbucks supersizes its coffee. Goldman's Facebook missteps. Ener1 re-cracks the Chinese market. Toyota incurs the NFL's wrath.
By TheStreet Staff, TheStreet
Here is this week's roundup of the dumbest actions in business.
5. UBS restyles its standards
Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner had a few rules about the appearance of his players, mainly no beards or shaggy hair. He wanted his boys to be clean cut. But he has nothing on UBS (UBS).
The Swiss bank has a more than 40-page tome detailing precisely how their employees should look, act and even eat when reporting for duty, according to the Associated Press. The helpful guide says underwear should be skin-colored and that employees shouldn't eat garlic or onions. It even offers makeup and perfume tips for women.
Though its earnings are disappointing, consumer lending is on the mend. In the long run, that's a very bullish sign.
Jeff Reeves, editor of InvestorPlace.com
Bank of America (BAC) reported earnings before the bell today that weren't exactly earnings at all. The company tallied a loss of $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2010 as bad mortgages continued to eat away at profits. The shortfall equaled a negative 16 cents a share, and the stock's revenue rolled back to $22.4 billion from $25.1 in the same quarter of the previous year.
The news is certainly disappointing -- and not just to me personally, since I own Bank of America stock. These earnings are the latest bad report this week from a financial sector that seemed on the mend but now doesn't look so hot.
But there are still big reasons to be optimistic.
The company's board shake-up is akin to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. It's just not going to help.
It seems to me that Hewlett-Packard is shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, trying to get the new guy, Leo Apotheker, a more agreeable team to work with. Either that or there is yet another back story that this once-pristine paragon of corporate governance just isn't telling anyone.
It's not the only thing that's difficult to fathom. Like what happened at Google (GOOG), where Eric Schmidt did such a terrific job as CEO before stepping aside to let Larry Page run the joint. Hey, Page founded it, he can run it for certain. I just hope Schmidt stays around to help do the job, unless, perhaps, he's moving to Washington, where he would be a fabulous addition to the Obama team.
An executive shake-up breaks up the three-way decision team at Google, as co-founder Larry Page replaces Eric Schmidt as CEO.
By Scott Moritz, TheStreet
Google (GOOG) is breaking up the band.
Schmidt, who was long thought of as the seasoned hand and management talent at the search giant, will take the executive chairman title.
The restructuring also includes the departure of Sergey Brin from the management team. Brin's new role will be far less central to Google's core operations and he will have the title of "co-founder."
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[BRIEFING.COM] S&P futures vs fair value: +5.50. Nasdaq futures vs fair value: +13.00. Markets across Asia were generally higher with Japan's Nikkei (+2.3%) leading the way. The strong gains came as Japan's Q3 Final GDP missed estimates (0.3% QoQ actual v. 0.4% QoQ expected) and the country's current account balance posted a surprise JPY0.06 bln deficit (+JPY1.2 bln expected). Both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda made headlines overnight, suggesting ... More
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