Geopolitical crises are taking a toll on stocks as we head into the seasonally weak month of August.
- Moody's: RadioShack is running out of cash
The retailer may not have a financial cushion to fund its turnaround plan.
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Investors are anxious to see if hiring can maintain its strong pace in the second half of the year.
Can hiring keep up its strong pace in the second half of the year? We'll get our first clue Friday at 8:30 a.m. EDT, when the Labor Department releases its jobs report for July.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect payrolls to rise by 230,000 and the unemployment rate to remain at 6.1 percent.
Here are a few things to watch:
Andrew Mason's new Detour could be one of the most-watched comeback attempts in recent Silicon Valley history.
Andrew Mason (pictured) is walking with a reporter amid the seagulls on San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf, using his iPhone to play an audio walking tour.
As he approaches the giant hoists with which local anglers move their daily catch to shore, the voice of a local fisherman named Candy pipes up on the recording to describe the scene ahead: "If you see any boats unloading, look for sea lions hanging nearby, waiting for the fish receivers to throw them scraps."
The recording is one of the offerings from Mason's latest startup, Detour, which he is trying to build into a central repository for a new kind of GPS-based neighborhood walking tour.
The high-definition camera maker gives its first earnings report as a public company Thursday afternoon.
High-definition camera maker GoPro (GPRO) is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings after the bell on Thursday, its first such report since it went public in June.
This is what investors can expect:
Earnings: GoPro is expected to report second-quarter earnings of 7 cents per share, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Revenue: Revenue is expected to come in at $238 million.
GoPro had first-quarter revenue of $235.7 million, according to a June 26 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Revenue for all of 2013 came to $986 million, the filing showed. Net income for the first quarter came to 11.0 million, after $60.6 million for all of 2013.
Geopolitical crises are taking a toll on stocks as we head into the seasonally weak month of August.
Several factors are moving our markets, including:
1) The rhetoric in Ukraine is getting downright vitriolic. The Ukraine Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said Russia was seeking to "revise the outcomes" of World War II by seizing the Crimean peninsula and fomenting war.
What does the country have to do with the price-to-earnings ratio of the S&P industrials? From here on in, everything.
It must have just dawned on people after work last night that Russia is bad news for the market.
I guess investors needed to hear it from companies as diverse as Siemens, Adidas, and Shell (RDS.A) all at once to drive the point home. Yes, Russia, Ukraine, Russian impact on Europe, strong dollar -- it's all coming together in one ugly morning.
There's a grudging recognition that not only are the sanctions not working but they are making Putin dig in his heels. Digging in his heels means he's going to cut the natural gas spigot to Europe when it gets cold. I think that's how a company like Siemens could withhold an outlook for 2015. I think it's how Shell last night said it could be a game changer. Adidas didn't even have to wait until winter to lower the boom. It did so now.
3 stocks will be in the spotlight Thursday as investors try to make sense of the numbers from the sector.
By Nelson Hem
Leading homebuilders Beazer Homes USA (BZH), Ryland Group (RYL) and Standard Pacific (SPF) will be taking their turns in the earnings spotlight Thursday.
D.R. Horton (DHI), Meritage Homes (MTH) and PulteGroup (PHM) posted mixed results last week, just as the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that new-home sales plunged in June. That made investors nervous about the housing recovery.
Beazer Homes USA
Analysts on average predict that this Atlanta-based builder will report that its revenue for the fiscal third quarter rose more than 14 percent year-over-year to $360.13 million. Earnings of $0.22 per share are also in the consensus forecast. That would compare to a reported net loss of $0.23 per share in the comparable period of last year.
Why are stronger numbers considered bad news? Investors are worried about the impact on inflation and interest rates.
By Anthony Mirhaydari
Stocks were chopping around the unchanged line on Wednesday in response to some stronger-than-expected economic reports, including the government's first estimate of second-quarter GDP growth.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU) tested below its 50-day moving average for the first time since May -- a bout of volatility investors haven't seen for a long time.
Normally, good news would be considered good news. But these days, with the market so dependent upon cheap-money stimulus from the Federal Reserve, any indication of a strengthening economy (and rising inflationary threats) is considered bad news since it brings forward the likely timing of the first short-term interest rate hike.
Indeed, the policy hawks are already making their reservations known with Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher letting loose with a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Tuesday titled "The danger of too loose, too long."
The glory days are over for big-box retailers as consumers search for more convenience, Goldman Sachs analysts say.
Instead, "consumers appear more focused on some combination of value and convenience," the analysts write.
The advent of online retailers like Amazon.com (AMZN) has also contributed to the problems at Wal-Mart and Target, according to the note. Consumers are less likely to make a trip to the stores when they could get free delivery online.
Wal-Mart's sales have declined for five straight quarters, leading to shakeups at the executive level.
The stakes are high heading into the company's earnings report Thursday.
By Jeff Reeves
LinkedIn (LNKD) has had a rough 12 months or so. The stock is down roughly 25 percent from summer 2013 highs, and is deeply in the red so far in 2014.
This would be bad enough for the stock, but the fact the market itself is rallying nicely at the same time only adds insult to injury.
That means stakes are high for LinkedIn earnings, due out Thursday after the bell, as investors look either to validate the downtrend or see a turnaround in the stock.
Here's what to look for in LinkedIn earnings:
The global risk level is high and the markets are at full valuation, one investor says. 'I think it is a very good time to be cautious.'
Dan Fuss hasn't been shy about playing in the riskier corners of the bond market during his 50-plus years in finance. But he's becoming increasingly cautious this year, reflecting growing concerns about the state of the credit markets.
Fuss' flagship Loomis Sayles Bond Fund (LSBDX) has put 27 percent of its $24.4 billion in assets under management in cash and reserves, such as short-term Treasurys, he said in an interview with MarketWatch this week. He joins a number of other big bond managers who have been prioritizing liquid holdings.
That decision reflects a mix of caution about geopolitical conflicts around the world that have so far gently pushed investors away from riskier debt securities. In the past month, Russia’s conflict with Ukraine has intensified, leading to harsher sanctions from Western nations. Violence has also erupted between Gaza and Israel.
A number of US mutual funds hold government bonds from the country, which is perilously close to default.
Hedge funds aren't the only investors with money on the line as Argentina scrambles to avoid a bond default.
A number of mutual funds, including funds run by Goldman Sachs (GS) and Fidelity Investments, have exposure to Argentina, which must reach a deal with a group of bond creditors by Wednesday, or face default for the second time in 13 years.
Argentina's Merval stock Index dropped 1 percent Monday as the deadline for a deal drew closer.
The sovereign bonds sold by Argentina are a high-risk, high-reward bet. If the South American nation irons out a solution with its creditors, the debt could increase rapidly in price, leading to a handsome payout. If a default occurs, these funds could get back just a fraction of their investments, if anything at all.
The company is lowering its soda machine projections for the second half of the year, however.
In the second quarter, the maker of beverage carbonation machines earned 43 cents per share, better than the 31 cents expected by analysts, on revenue of $141.2 million, topping the $140.6 million Wall Street expected.
"The second quarter was highlighted by record gas refills including unit growth in all regions underscoring the global appeal and stickiness of our home carbonation system," said CEO Daniel Birnbaum in a statement. "Our total business in our Western Europe, Asia Pacific, and CEMEA regions all posted solid increases in the second quarter as our product and marketing strategies are leading to increased household penetration and user activity."
Should the fast-food chain act as the boss of all workers in franchised stores? The company says no, but organized labor says yes.
By Josh Eidelson, Businessweek
The fast-food business model just suffered a blow.
The top prosecutor for the federal labor board has rejected McDonald's (MCD) claim that it's not the boss of the workers in its franchised stores.
Within the past 21 months -- the period in which strikes by fast-food workers went from unheard-of to increasingly common -- union-backed McDonald's workers have brought 181 charges before the National Labor Relations Board. On Tuesday the NLRB general counsel's office announced it had found dozens of allegations with enough merit to pursue.
And, more important, the general counsel directed NLRB officials to treat McDonald's as a defendant alongside the franchisees running the stores. Giving McDonald's shared responsibility for how franchisees treat workers could force corporate headquarters to get involved more closely with everything from potential unionization to wages.
We have seen a huge correction, and we now need to look for signs that it is ending.
The rolling correction continues as we've seen some really powerful downward moves in some of the major industrials. They remind me of something Byron Wien -- a senior adviser at Blackstone and by far my favorite market commentator -- said at the beginning of the year. He remarked that the S&P 500 would initially drop 10 percent in a worst-of-times situation, and then in a best-of-times situation it could rally 20 percent, heading perhaps to 2,300 by the end of the year.
I point this out because Wien put out his monthly note Tuesday night, and it is very positive on the market -- but he does not directly address that he thought stocks would have that initial decline.
Yet as I look over so many of the big industrials and many of the technology stocks, I see the market did have a pretty large correction already. Stocks such as General Electric (GE) and Boeing (BA) and United Technologies (UTX) are down huge from their highs. The cloud-computing stocks, despite their nascent rallies, are down much more than 10 percent.
The company's earnings beat impressed Wall Street, but some observers say there are still long-term questions about its future.
Twitter (TWTR) shares soared anew on Wednesday as analysts scrambled to lift price targets after quarterly results blew away Wall Street's forecasts.
The stock was up 20 percent in midday trading on heavy volume of about 80 million shares. It soared late Tuesday after the company's adjusted profit and revenue surpassed expectations, and its outlook on full-year revenue was also better than a previous estimate.
Analysts had been holding their breath over the tally for monthly active users. Twitter edged past expectations for 267 million monthly active users with a count of 271 million.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market punctuated July with a broad-based retreat that sent the S&P 500 lower by 2.0% with all ten sectors ending in the red. The benchmark index posted a monthly decline of 1.5%, while the Russell 2000 (-2.3%) underperformed to end the month lower by 6.1%.
To get a better feel for what led to today's retreat, we'd like to look back to Wednesday, when the market had ample reason to rally, but did not. Instead, it ended basically flat after a sloppy day of ... More
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