With no compelling reason to be pessimistic today, Wall Street started the week off strong Monday, bidding stocks higher as Europe took further steps to stop the bleeding in Greece. Data today also show an abrupt jump in consumer borrowing, with Americans taking nearly $20 billion worth of debt in May, up sharply from the $10.9 billion more citizens borrowed in April. When all was said and done, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) tacked on 89 points, or 0.6%, to end at 15,225.�
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH ) led all blue chips higher Monday, adding 2.1%, as the health insurer enjoyed the benefits of a favorable article in Barron's, making the case for a 40% run-up in the stock over the next several years. The staggered rollout of Obamacare is cited as the major catalyst for the stock's potential in the bullish piece, which Wall Street clearly paid attention to. Shares even hit a 52-week high during trading today.
Big-box retailer Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT ) also outperformed, jumping 2% Monday. It's easy to see how Wally World could benefit from today's intel on consumer credit; in a consumer-driven economy, a rapid increase in personal debt is one surefire way to increase spending, and the ubiquitous retailer is no stranger to that concept. The third-largest company in the Dow has recently gotten creative in terms of how to ramp up in-store purchases, and it now even offers its own credit card and banking solutions.�
Best Regional Bank Companies To Invest In Right Now: Apple Inc.(AAPL)
Apple Inc., together with subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. The company sells its products worldwide through its online stores, retail stores, direct sales force, third-party wholesalers, resellers, and value-added resellers. In addition, it sells third-party Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod compatible products, including application software, printers, storage devices, speakers, headphones, and other accessories and peripherals through its online and retail stores; and digital content and applications through the iTunes Store. The company sells its products to consumer, small and mid-sized business, education, enterprise, government, and creative markets. As of September 25, 2010, it had 317 retail stores, including 233 stores in the United States and 84 stores internationally. The company, formerly known as Apple Computer, Inc., was founded in 1976 and is headquartered in Cupertino, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Evan Niu, CFA]
Nokia's focus on shutterbugs may be a point of differentiation to appeal to Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) users. The Mac maker also places high priority on the iPhone's camera capabilities, even highlighting it in a recent ad filled to the brim with emotional appeal. Steve Jobs had reportedly even met with Lytro CEO Ren Ng to discuss incorporating the camera tech in future iPhones, although nothing materialized out of the talks.
Hot Blue Chip Companies To Invest In 2014: McDonald's Corporation(MCD)
McDonald?s Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a worldwide foodservice retailer. It franchises and operates McDonald?s restaurants that offer various food items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages. As of December 31, 2009, the company operated 32,478 restaurants in 117 countries, of which 26,216 were operated by franchisees; and 6,262 were operated by the company. McDonald?s Corporation was founded in 1948 and is based in Oak Brook, Illinois.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Michael Neelon(misc)/Alamy If you like to start your day with a cup of a coffee and like the idea of free, McDonald's (MCD) has a deal for you. From Sept. 16 through Sept. 29, the fast food giant is giving customers a free small coffee during its breakfast hours. At participating restaurants only, of course. McDonald's announced earlier this year that it was going to put more effort into growing its coffee business. Even though its brand is hardly built on coffee, the chain has become the top seller of coffee in the country. But there's stiff competition out there, with the likes of Starbucks (SBUX) and Dunkin' Donuts (DNKN) enjoying fierce brand loyalty -- and far stronger associations with java. But free is free, and the idea is to see if any of those who usually head to the other places for their morning Joe could be convinced to give McDonald's brew a try. Even when it's not free, coffee at McDonald's is often a much better deal than its competitors' cups. Many McDonald's outlets offer any size coffee for $1. Those who drink large coffees can expect to pay twice that at Dunkin' Donuts and even more at Starbucks. But if you value caffeine in your coffee, particularly to get you going in the morning, be aware that McDonald's coffee typically doesn't pack the punch of what Starbucks, Panera Bread Co. (PNRA) and Dunkin' are offering. Starbucks coffee has been measured as having more than twice the caffeine of McDonald's coffee, while most of the others were at least 20 percent more potent. Of course, not everyone requires the same amount of jolt. And free is free, even if it's only for two weeks. Freebies First, In Supermarkets Later McDonald's tried to amp up its coffee game in 2009, when is launched its McCafe concept. Now, the company is saying it expects to get into the grocery coffee wars, too, with its branded bagged coffee and single-serve K-cups arriving in stores early next year. This is the second time McDonald's has used a "Free Coffee Event"
- [By WWW.DAILYFINANCE.COM]
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images Maybe it's not too late for McDonald's (MCD) to start serving chili cheese dogs and cherry limeades directly to cars by food runners on roller skates. Sonic (SONC) posted quarterly results after Monday's market close, proving once again that the "America's Drive-In" is holding up a lot better than McDonald's. The secret to Sonic's success can't be the expanding menu of cheap eats because that's a strategy that's not working for McDonald's. Is it the retro charm that's fueling growth at the chain of 3,500 fast food restaurants? Is it the unique menu? Is it the memory-making dine-in experience that's rare to find elsewhere these days? Whatever it is, it's working for Sonic. Sonic Boom Sonic had another blowout quarter, fueled by a same-store sales spike of 5.3 percent for the three months ending in May. Just to frame this achievement in perspective, McDonald's has posted negative same-store sales for three consecutive quarters at its domestic locations. The two burger chains operate on different fiscal calendars, but for an apples-to-apples comparison, consider that McDonald's stateside comps during March, April and May would have been collectively negative. Sales growth is just part of a strong quarter. Investors need to make sure that a company isn't padding sales by selling expensive food on the cheap. Sales growth has to bleed down to the bottom line, and Sonic's operating profit and earnings climbed 6 percent and 13 percent, respectively. Just so we're clear on the cheerleading, McDonald's posted declines on both fronts in its latest quarter. Sonic posted better than expected results on Monday. McDonald's fell short of Wall Street profit targets in its most recent report. Dine and Dash On the surface, it would seem that McDonald's is trying to be more like Sonic. A wide array of drink choices has been a hallmark of the Sonic experience, and that's been happening at McDonald's since the McCafe introduced smoothies a
Hot Blue Chip Companies To Invest In 2014: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)
Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Diane Alter]
Dividend Stocks That Increased Payout in SeptemberAccenture plc (NYSE: ACN) announced a 14.8%, or $0.12 per share, increase to its semiannual dividend. The management consulting firm will now pay a semiannual dividend of $0.93. Shares yield 2.53%. Agruim Inc. (NYSE: AGU) boosted its dividend by $1.00 per share to a total dividend of $3.00 on an annualized basis. Shares of the global retailer of agricultural products now sprout a 3.54% yield. Air Industries Group Inc. (NYSE: AIRI) doubled its dividend to $0.125 per share. The maker of airplane and helicopter parts now floats a lofty yield of 6.6%. Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. (NYSE: ARE) upped its dividend 4.6% to $0.68 per quarter for a yield of 4.21%. Banner Corp. (Nasdaq: BANR) boosted its quarterly dividend 25% to $0.15 per share. The parent company of Banner and Islander Bank serves the Pacific Northwest region. Brady Corp. (NYSE: BRC) lifted its quarterly dividend 2.6% to $0.78 per share. It was the 28th straight dividend increase from the identification solutions company. Shares yield 2.57%. Campbell Soup Co. (NSE: CPB) raised its quarterly dividend to $0.31 per share, up from $0.29. The company last raised its dividend in November 2010. Shares yield a hearty 3.06%. CLARCOR Inc. (NYSE: CLC) raised its quarterly dividend 26% to $0.17 per share. It's the largest percentage increase from the Tennessee-based diversified marketer of mobile filtration and packaging products in the last 20 years, and it continues the company's consecutive streak of increasing dividends for the last 30 years. Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE: BEN) boosted its quarterly dividend 2.6% to $0.10 per share. Frisch's Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: FRS) increased its quarterly dividend 12.5% to $0.18. Shares yield 3.10% The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: GT), in a move that suggests good times are ahead, reinstated its dividend at $0.05 per share. Good
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Phillip Morris (PM) gained 2.8% to $86.56 after boosting its dividend by 10.6%.
Restoration Hardware (RH) dropped 12% to $68.04 despite what many considered to be a solid earnings�report. Not Barron’s.
Hot Blue Chip Companies To Invest In 2014: Visa Inc.(V)
Visa Inc., a payments technology company, engages in the operation of retail electronic payments network worldwide. It facilitates commerce through the transfer of value and information among financial institutions, merchants, consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company owns and operates VisaNet, a global processing platform that provides transaction processing services. It also offers a range of payments platforms, which enable credit, charge, deferred debit, debit, and prepaid payments, as well as cash access for consumers, businesses, and government entities. The company provides its payment platforms under the Visa, Visa Electron, PLUS, and Interlink brand names. In addition, it offers value-added services, including risk management, issuer processing, loyalty, dispute management, value-added information, and CyberSource-branded services. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Alanna Petroff]
2. Get ready for Alibaba: The company is expected to price its IPO after the market close in a range of $66 to $68 per share. The Chinese e-commerce giant is set to start trading in New York Friday in what could be the biggest initial public offering of all time. The company could raise more money than Facebook (FB, Tech30) or Visa (V) when they went public.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Visa (V) swiped its earnings card only to find out that it’s been rejected.Bloomberg
The credit-card company said it earned $2.20 cents a share, beating forecasts for $2.18, on sales of $3.16 billion, below the Street consensus for $3.19 billion. Visa also said that revenue would slow during the second quarter as a result of sanctions imposed on Russia and a stronger dollar.
Jefferies’ Jason Kupferberg and team call Visa’s results a ‘modest bump in the road” but remain optimistic:
Shares of V will understandably trade lower…given: 1) narrowing of net rev growth guidance to the lower part of the range, 2) slightly more softening in x-border volume growth, 3) uncertainty re Russia, 4) obtuse messaging around tax rate guidance. However, we were encouraged by recovery in most all April metrics and higher operating margin guidance. The long-term story is intact.
The uncertainty around Russia could also weigh on MasterCard’s (MA) results when it releases earnings on May 1, Kupferberg says.
Shares of Visa have dropped 4.1% to $200.82 at 2:38 p.m., while MasterCard has fallen 4.2% to $71.25. Visa’s drop is also weighing heavily on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, thanks to its big drop, which is more than twice the size of Intel’s (INTC) 1.7% decline and Goldman Sachs’ (GS) 1.6% fall put together, and having the highest price in the price-weighted Dow. The Dow has fallen 0.8% to 16,362.27.
Hot Blue Chip Companies To Invest In 2014: Chevron Corporation(CVX)
Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream. The Upstream segment involves in the exploration, development, and production of crude oil and natural gas; processing, liquefaction, transportation, and regasification associated with liquefied natural gas; transportation of crude oil through pipelines; and transportation, storage, and marketing of natural gas, as well as holds interest in a gas-to-liquids project. The Downstream segment engages in the refining of crude oil into petroleum products; marketing of crude oil and refined products primarily under the Chevron, Texaco, and Caltex brand names; transportation of crude oil and refined products by pipeline, marine vessel, motor equipment, and rail car; and manufacture and marketing of commodity petrochemicals, plastics for industrial uses, and fuel and lubricant additives. It a lso produces and markets coal and molybdenum; and holds interests in 13 power assets with a total operating capacity of approximately 3,100 megawatts, as well as involves in cash management and debt financing activities, insurance operations, real estate activities, energy services, and alternative fuels and technology business. Chevron Corporation has a joint venture agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation. The company was formerly known as ChevronTexaco Corp. and changed its name to Chevron Corporation in May 2005. Chevron Corporation was founded in 1879 and is based in San Ramon, California.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Ben Levisohn]
The Fed surprised the market when it decided taper, sending stocks down, then up, as investors took note of the Fed’s dovishness. Goldman Sachs (GS) and Chevron (CVX) rose.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Shares of Anadarko have dropped 2.8% to $93.22 at 11:30 a.m. today, a bigger loss than those experienced by others in the sector.�Chevron�(CVX) has fallen 0.2% to $117.90, for instance,�Devon Energy�(DVN) has declined 0.7% to $63.98 and�ConocoPhillips (COP) has 0.8% to $72.76.
- [By Matt Thalman]
Another top stock today was Chevron (NYSE: CVX ) , which saw its shares rise 1.09%. One likely catalyst for the rise was the recent Morgan Stanley report that claimed Chevron would outperform its fellow Dow component and competitor ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM ) by 55% over the next few years. Morgan Stanley believes Chevron could experience higher production growth and realize better returns in the coming years. The firm also raised Chevron's price target to $135 per share, while reducing Exxon's to $85 per share. �
Hot Blue Chip Companies To Invest In 2014: Colgate-Palmolive Company(CL)
Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It offers oral care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouth rinses, as well as dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; personal care products, such as liquid hand soap, shower gels, bar soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, and conditioners; and home care products comprising laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches, dishwashing liquids, and oil soaps. The company offers its oral, personal, and home care products under the Colgate Total, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate 360 Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Laura Brodbeck]
FridayEarnings Expected From: Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY), Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE: CL), Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (NYSE: COG), Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO), Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG), Shire plc (NASDAQ: SHPG) Economic Releases Expected: German consumer confidence, Italian retail sales, British GDP, U.S. new home sales
Posted-In: Earnings News Previews Top Stories Economics Pre-Market Outlook Markets Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga
- [By Dan Burrows]
Rival Colgate-Palmolive (CL) has different concerns, namely sluggishness in emerging markets where it enjoys commanding market share and derives more than half its revenue.
- [By James Well]
Analysts��Consensus Position on Pfizer
Thirteen analysts including those at TheStreet, Thomson Reuters/Verus, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley and Argus Research are optimistic about the performance of Pfizer going forward and, hence, reiterated a consensus buy recommendation at an average target price of $31.78 per share. Last Wednesday, analysts at Goldman Sachs removed Pfizer from Goldman�� conviction buy list (CL) where Pfizer has been since Aug. 9, 2011, and placed it on the buy list but raised its price target from $34 to $35 per share. Jami Rubin, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, claimed that Pfizer has gone up by 82.5% since being added to the CL as against 53.9% for the S&P 500 during the period and, therefore, there was the need to replace Pfizer with AbbVie at a price target of $60 because they claimed AbbVie has greater upside at this time.
- [By Monica Gerson]
Colgate-Palmolive Co (NYSE: CL) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $0.73 per share on revenue of $4.46 billion.
Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP) is projected to report its Q2 earnings at $2.83 per share on revenue of $2.36 billion.