Stocks are set to rally this morning, but history offers a warning to investors. That and more is what’s in market news Thursday
The Dow industrials (^DJI) lost 21 points Wednesday, and the S&P 500 (^GPSC) was virtually flat, but the Nasdaq (^IXIC) gained nearly 10 points.
All three major averages posted solid gains for all of July. For the Dow, it was the seventh increase in eight months. So what can we expect from August? Well, since 1987, it’s been the worst month of the year for the market.
In earnings news, Exxon Mobil’s (XOM) quarterly earnings appear to have badly missed Wall Street expectations.
Procter & Gamble’s (PG) net fell by nearly half from a year ago, but still edged past expectations.
Animated filmmaker DreamWorks Animation (DWA), biotech company Affymetrix (AFFX), and the online review company Yelp (YELP) are all set to rally on better-than-expected earnings news.
But Whole Foods Market (WFM) and Marriott International (MAR) both issue disappointing results.
Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Toyota (TM) and other carmakers report sales for last month. Industry watcher Edmunds.com forecasts a double-digit gain from a year ago.
The dispute between J.C. Penney and Macy’s (M) over the rights to sell Martha Stewart (MSO) branded products could come to an end today. The two department stores are set to deliver closing arguments in their long-running case, and the judge could issue an immediate ruling.
The International Trade Commission is expected to rule today on Apple’s (AAPL) patent-infringement case against Korean rival Samsung. The companies have filed suit and countersuit against each other, with both sides claiming some victories in court.
And Starbucks (SBUX) has enlisted Google (GOOG) to make the Internet connection at its coffee shops up to 10 times faster than it is now.
In 1992, when I started my first company, you could freely hire a programmer or other contractor for as many hours or days per week as you could afford and as the individual was available. As you grew, you could gradually increase the hours the contractor worked until you could afford to make him or her an employee. It was a natural, frugal way to get a business off the ground. …read more
PLANO, Texas — J.C. Penney says that CIT, the largest lender in the clothing industry, is still supporting deliveries from its suppliers. The department store operator also says it has ample liquidity to run its business.
Shares rose more than 7 percent in premarket trading Thursday.
On Wednesday, a New York Post report said that CIT Group Inc. (CIT) had stopped providing financial support to small and large suppliers selling to J.C. Penney stores — for now. The report said CIT made the decision after meeting with J.C. Penney officials to examine the company’s books.
J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) said Thursday that CIT assured it that the newspaper report is untrue.
CIT is what the industry calls a “factor,” which makes cash advances to suppliers based on the goods they sell to the merchant. If vendors and factors become wary of a store’s creditworthiness, the retailer may have to pay suppliers cash upfront for goods, which could be a huge drain on liquidity. If suppliers stop shipping goods, it can be a death knell for a retailer.
Plano, Texas-based J.C. Penney said that merchandise from CIT-supported suppliers currently makes up less than 4 percent of its overall inventory for the year.
J.C. Penney said that it still has the support of all of its key vendors, which are continuing shipments to the company. The retailer, which has 1,100 stores, anticipates closing the second quarter with about $1.5 billion in cash on its balance sheet.
Shares climbed $1.09, or 7.5 percent, to $15.69 in premarket trading about two hours before the market open Thursday.
J.C. Penney is trying to reverse its fortunes after disastrous results under a failed transformation plan implemented by its former CEO Ron Johnson. Johnson was ousted in April after 17 months on the job. The board brought back former CEO Mike Ullman, who has reintroduced frequent sales and is bringing back key merchandise under store names like St. John’s Bay.
Analyst Deborah Weinswig of Citi Investment Research says J.C. Penney won’t see a recovery in its business until 2014. The analyst said in a client note that she’s been surprised that “quick fixes,” like bringing back coupons, hasn’t led to stronger sales and doesn’t think this will change in the near term. The analyst lowered the chain’s rating to “Sell” from “Neutral” and cut its price target to $11 from $20.
If you own a business and you are taking on a project of any size, you can consider the advantages of renting construction equipment before. Certain pieces of equipment you need to decide to buy the work While the team has is ideal for larger companies in the industry who need the equipment for regular use, the purchase is not for every company, especially if requires the project team is required only for a limited time. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of purchasing more equipment, should consider the benefits of hiring you never considered and the best decision for the project you supervise them.
Purchasing Equipment is main Investment
Construction is not cheap. If you buy something from a truck crane, you can spend thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars for the purchase of equipment. The facility may require that you take a business loan, that interest accrues and an unnecessary expense. If you buy a computer, devalue the team also, so if you are ready to sell, you never get what you pay for. If you want to avoid the need for financing, leasing may be the best option. You can set the time that you need the device, you pay only for the time necessary for the machine, and you never have to depend on your credit rating over the possibility of a project to provide complete care.
Do Not be Anxious about Repairing the Equipment
Unfortunately, the construction is not invincible. If you do not receive the device or breaking due to wear parts, the cost of repairs is an expense that was not willing to pay. You need to finish the unit to your project, but the benefits of the projects are used in part to pay for repairs. This can be avoided if you choose to purchase equipment. You do not have the equipment you, so you know when the machines are not responsible for leasing troubleshooting.
If you rent a crane, a forklift truck or the excavation team, simply call the landlord and tell them that the device must be repaired or replaced. You still have to organize the transport of the product, or call to find out what repair companies guarantee the best prices, because the load on your shoulders.
Equipment rental can be the best choice for short and long term, use both. If you are about to renew a project to improve your commercial building, or you are int. Construction of a new offer of swallowing, if the rental cost of equipment instead of buying you not only save you money in the beginning, you will save money over time and ensure that your project is non-commercial focused and prices, or to compare different devices from different manufacturers.
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However, with more and more shoppers buying clothes from home, the Swedish firm is speeding up its online roll-out to capture a slice of the growing market.
H&M has grown fast in recent years in the U.S., its second-biggest market, but has twice pulled back from announced dates for the online launch, blaming unexpected complexities in setting up an operation well-integrated with its stores.
Meanwhile, its main rival Inditex and others such as online e-store ASOS have expanded in the market, while Amazon (AMZN) is pushing further into apparel after eBay (EBAY) prospered with its fashion offering.
“You don’t want to lose out on being the port of call for younger shoppers. So H&M should really get in there,” Planet Retail consultant Isabel Cavill said.
Apparel has become one of the fastest-growing online retail segments. H&M has e-stores in eight European countries and says they are now as profitable as its bricks-and-mortar shops.
In North America, a quarter of clothing sales will take place on the Internet in 2030, up from 7 percent in 2011, Goldman Sachs (GS) predicts. Researcher Euromonitor International sees the U.S. online apparel market more than doubling in a decade to $41 billion in 2017.
“Generations of shoppers are growing up for whom the multi-channel is a basic expectation,” said Kantar Retail consultant Bryan Roberts.
Mind the Returns
H&M has been struggling to work out a viable logistics model in the country, where many shoppers expect free deliveries.
“H&M is low-price, quite low-margin and makes it work by selling very high volumes. An issue with that is very high costs for shipping and, most significantly, returns. It’s a particular problem in the U.S.,” Conlumino consultant Neil Saunders said.
Up to half of fashion items sold online are returned. At H&M, a shopper may well buy up to three times as many items than at Zara or ASOS. Analysts place average prices at Zara at least 40 percent above H&M’s, with ASOS in between.
H&M’s U.S. online store offers free shipping but charges for returns. Items bought online cannot be returned in stores.
“I’m particularly surprised by the lack of multichannel. …read more
Sony’s first earnings report of the new financial year is in and it eked out a profit, albeit a small one. The $35 million net profit is an improvement from last year’s results for the same period, and the good news is most pronounced in its mobile products and communications department. Revenue grew 36 percent from last year, partially due to changes in the value of the yen, but also thanks to higher sales for smartphones — 9.6 million units — and a higher average selling price. The games division recorded an operating loss for the quarter, as sales of the PS3, PSP and PS2 dropped slightly while spending on research and development for the upcoming PlayStation 4 rose. Sony’s new TV strategy may have shown some results, with year-on-years sales up 18.2 percent and attributed to an “improved product mix in LCD TVs” and cost reductions.
Norma Yaeger, 83, of Encino, Calif., thought she was making a smart financial decision last fall, when, after pulling into a Ralph’s supermarket, she impulsively hired two men to fix her car.
“Two nice gentlemen came over to me and look at my fender, which was badly scratched. They said that they had a compound that will remove the scratches and restore the paint,” Yaeger says.
They would fix it, for just $50.
Yaeger isn’t a rube — she was, in fact, the first female stockbroker to work at the New York Stock Exchange (and recently wrote an autobiography, “Breaking Down the Walls”). She also served as president of two stock brokerage firms. The men who approached her seemed honest, and Yaeger was self-conscious about her fender. She paid the $50, a snap decision that seemed perfectly reasonable.
Instead — and you knew this was coming — when she returned from grocery shopping, her car fender hadn’t improved. In fact, it looked far worse. Yaeger drove to a mechanic and was told that it would take several days and $1,000 to fix her car.”The worst part was that I had to tell my husband about this embarrassing story,” Yaeger says.
Most people have made a financial mistake that seemed sensible at the time, but in hindsight turned out to be pretty stupid. With that in mind, here are some thoughts from a slew of personal finance experts on five financial decisions that sound smart but are likely a waste of money.
The Mistake: Buying something because it is interest-free for awhile.
Why It Can Seem Smart. It’s tempting to buy something with a zero-interest window, such as a “90-day, same-as-cash” offer, in which you’re charged no interest if you pay for the product within 90 days.
Why It May Be Stupid. Many people don’t end up saving the money or putting it aside when they get it, “and they end up paying accumulated interest at a high rate plus compounding interest on the balance going forward,” says Kelley Long, a Chicago-based certified public accountant.
She says consumers make such mistakes when they open a store credit card to get a 15 percent discount, for example, but then carry a 22 percent balance. Paying for things with a rewards credit card to earn frequent flier miles can also be a mistake if you’re not paying off the card in full each month. “The interest expenses end up far outweighing the price of an airline ticket,” Long says.
The Mistake: Buying long-term care insurance when you’re broke.
Why It Can Seem Smart. Who wouldn’t want long-term care insurance? It helps pay for basic activities that people need to do on a daily basis, …read more
Saving for your retirement is a big deal. Barring the income you might get from pensions (not what they once were) and Social Security (not likely to stay what it once was) all you’ll have is the money you save to last you the rest of your life. And it’s no secret that if your accounts run dry, it’s incredibly difficult for a retiree to rejoin the workforce a decade or more after leaving it.
Given all that, it’s understandable if you’re a bit worried about coming up with enough money that you’ll be able to retire comfortably on your terms. While building and maintaining that nest egg is a long-term commitment, it’s important to remember that you have the rest of your career to get there. With a solid plan and the flexibility to handle life’s curve balls, you can greatly improve your chances of retiring with a portfolio that can last as long as you do.
3 Steps to Get From Here to Retired
The toughest part of investing for retirement is that you face so many unknowns. How long will you live? What will the market do? Will your Social Security benefits get cut? How tame (or wild) will inflation be? Will your mental and physical health hold out, or will you need the help of a caregiver?
Those are all wise questions to ask, but unfortunately, they can’t be answered with any certainty until it’s too late to do anything about it. The best any of us can really do is develop a reasonable plan based on decent assumptions, and then adjust as life happens. With that in mind, here is a three-step foundation for a solid plan:
1. Set a target. What sort of lifestyle do you want in your retirement? Are you the kind of person who’d be happy rocking away on the stoop, watching the world go by? Or do you picture a retirement filled with world travel, box seats at the symphony, and generous philanthropic gifts to your favorite charities?
Whatever your plans, start by estimating your anticipated monthly expenses. Subtract from that your anticipated net Social Security check and any monthly pension payments you may get, then multiply the remainder by 300. That’s about how large your total portfolio will need to be to cover your costs. At that size, your portfolio should generate enough growth and income that you can take advantage of the 4 percent rule, a solid (if rough) estimate that will help reduce the odds that you’ll outlive your money.
2. Take what help you can get, and ramp up when you can. While that 300-times-monthly-expenses estimate may seem daunting, there are a number programs available to help you build your nest egg faster. Qualified retirement accounts like IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and the government’s Thrift Savings …read more
By Russell Flannery, Forbes Staff China’s energy business is largely under the purview of big government-controlled companies such as PetroChina, Cnooc and Sinopec. An oil company led by one of only a handful of private sector entrepreneurs to make a large fortune in the field reported a big jump in profit today. Hong Kong-listed United Energy Group’s net profit in the six months to June more than doubled to HK$525 million, or $67 million, from HK$214 million a year earlier, according to a company announcement. Earnings rose on increased production and higher oil prices, United said. Revenue climbed to HK$2.3 billion from HK$1.4 billion a year earlier. Union acquired the upstream operations of BP in Pakistan for $775 million in 2011, and has since increased its production there. Last October, it announced a “production cooperation agreement” with Chinese government-run China Development Bank for $5 billion, giving providing capital for additional acquisitions. Union’s chairman Zhang Hongwei ranked No. 825 on the 2013 Forbes Billionaires List with wealth of $1.85 billion. — Follow me on Twitter @rflannerychina …read more
By Elaine Pofeldt, Contributor Is our future one where many of us will never have a traditional job again? A provocative new article in the Deloitte review on the “The Open Talent Economy” makes that sound like a very real possibility. The article describes a world where “balance sheet talent” (also known as full-time employees) increasingly works alongside contract and freelance workers in response to sweeping changes in the world’s economy. These folks are also supplemented by employees of organizations to which work is outsourced, workers involved in joint ventures who are responsible to more than one organization, and open-source talent–folks who provide free labor through crowdsourced efforts and the like. It’s a loose and ever-changing world where alliances between employers and workers are fleeting and ever-changing. “Global markets and products are driven by accelerating innovation and growing scale, and they demand talent pools and systems that can be rapidly assembled and reconfigured,” write authors Jeff Schwartz, Andrew Liakopoulous and Lisa Barry.”Business leaders and customers expect agility, scale, and the right skills on demand. These new business and talent models look less like integrated factories and companies and more like highly orchestrated networks and ecosystems with a multitude of approaches to mobilizing, orchestrating, and engaging talent, skills, leaders, and ideas.” Like it or not, many people are going to find themselves part of the growing freelance sector of the economy, the authors note. They point to the higher education sector, where the percentage of full-time faculty has shrunk from 56 percent to 39 percent over the last 35 years, while the number of adjuncts and part-time faculty has grown from 24 percent to 41 percent. To some, this type of future will sound dismal. But there’s an upside for workers. Companies are going to have to get creative about attracting, retaining and rewarding the best talent–even talent that isn’t a permanent line item on their balance sheet. They will still need smart, reliable, creative people to get things done, and there’s likely to be a lot of competition for workers who can deliver the goods. Many people resist and fear the possibility that some day, it will be next to impossible for most of us to fill out job application, go on interviews and find “a steady job.” But for those who embrace the inevitability that the way we work will change along with the global economy– and figure out how to make the most of new labor market conditions–the future could be a lot brighter. Many talented people and capable people are underpaid by their current employers. I suspect that if if they try the life of a free agent, they’ll find they’re worth a lot more than they think. …read more
Over at BuzzFeed, Andrew Kaczynski has done the world a favor by pointing out that Reza Aslan, a person who’s good at staying dignified in an abusively dumb interview, turned right around and did unto others on Twitter what was done to him — and more — sometimes toward trolls, sometimes not. Ironically, Kaczynski did much to help Aslan’s cause out of the gate, taking the opportunity to mock Fox News for interviewing him so poorly. To be sure, mocking a bad interview is much different than worshipfully praising the victim. But these things are virtually identical in the business world where people compete for attention and money by getting involved in the politics of religion. One particularly broad region of that world can be especially unenlightening. It’s actually quite rare to see controversy swirl around a figure like Aslan, who speaks relatively calmly about religion but spews vitriol on more straightforwardly political matters. For many smart people on the internet, a more popular form of hatertainment is reading a secular writer SLAM a person who takes religion seriously from a political perspective. Encouraged by all the high-fives and fist bumps that result, polemicists of religion have gotten theatrically obnoxious. Like football players after a sack, they pause on the playing field to do dumb dances and talk trash in the faces of their flattened opponents. Things have gotten so bad in this regard that atheists are now doing it to other atheists. George Will, for instance, is a writer who doesn’t believe in God, but thinks that religion helps keep a free society from degenerating into the kind of playful environment of tyrannical derp that rules the world in Idiocracy. So he took to the pages of National Affairs to make a secularist’s case for the importance of religion to freedom in America. Mild-mannered as he is, Will adds some pretty deep caveats — like, he doesn’t believe religion is “necessary for good citizenship.” He modestly concludes that believing in God and stuff “is helpful and important but not quite essential” to the future of an America that upstanding people won’t ditch like Detroit. For his trouble, Will received a cackling diatribe from the Economist’s Will Wilkinson. Why? Well, Will’s insight into the general political significance of spiritual attitudes veered over the course of his essay into the kind of convoluted history of political thought familiar to anyone who has read the argued-to-death work of ogre figures like Leo Strauss. For decades, neoconservative theorists have been mocked for thinking, and practically saying, things like “I’m not religious — that’s for idiots — but I’m glad the idiots who surround me are religious, because they won’t try to rape my wife and kids, or take away my comfortable position in society.” For atheist conservatives like Will, liberals and progressives pose a huge threat to America because, by beating religion out of public life, they’ll ensure that people think — to quote Will — that “life should be filled to overflowing …read more
Eager to join the ranks of publishers getting a cut of the lucrative mobile gaming business, Facebook has announced a new pilot program that will help mobile game developers’ titles to better stand out from the pack.
The program, known simply as Mobile Games Publishing, won’t see Facebook turning into a traditional games publisher that has a hand in the development process. Rather than providing funding and oversight, Facebook will instead focus on the marketing aspect of the publishing business. It will offer targeted advertisements to its mobile users (which number upwards of 800 million per month) and offer analytics tools to developers in return for a portion of participating games’ revenues.
Work isn’t anchored to one device or one location. In a typical day, you can go from working on a multimonitor desktop rig in the office to a laptop at a client site to a desktop at home, working in sips on a tablet or smartphone in between.
This unfettered mobility means its more critical than ever that you’re able to access important files across devices, platforms and apps. Follow these tips for keeping all your data in sync, so you can keep doing business wherever your business takes you.
Bookmarks and browser settings
One of the more frustrating experiences of switching between multiple devices is the interruption to your Web browsing experience. Fortunately, popular browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox offer built-in support for automatically syncing bookmarks, history, open tabs and even passwords.
When you sign in to Chrome, your browser settings are saved to your Google account to be used by the Chrome browser on any other computer or device. To choose what settings get synced, sign in to Chrome—you will be prompted for your verification code if you have 2-factor authentication enabled—and follow the prompts to to either “sync everything” or select individual items.
In trading on Wednesday, shares of Nortek Inc (NASD: NTK) crossed above their 200 day moving average of $67.89, changing hands as high as $68.47 per share. Nortek Inc shares are currently trading up about 0.3% on the day. The chart below shows the one year performance of NTK shares, versus its 200 day moving average: …read more
In the latest look at stocks ordered by largest market capitalization, Russell 3000 component Atwood Oceanics, Inc. (NYSE: ATW) was identified as having a larger market cap than the smaller end of the S&P 500, for example JDS Uniphase Corp (NASD: JDSU), according to The Online Investor. Click here to find out the top S&P 500 components ordered by average analyst rating » …read more
In the latest look at stocks ordered by largest market capitalization, Russell 3000 component WABCO Holdings Inc (NYSE: WBC) was identified as having a larger market cap than the smaller end of the S&P 500, for example Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI), according to The Online Investor. Click here to find out the top S&P 500 components ordered by average analyst rating » …read more
In the latest look at stocks ordered by largest market capitalization, Russell 3000 component Westlake Chemical Corp (NYSE: WLK) was identified as having a larger market cap than the smaller end of the S&P 500, for example Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. (NYSE: IPG), according to The Online Investor. Click here to find out the top S&P 500 components ordered by average analyst rating » …read more
In the latest look at stocks ordered by largest market capitalization, Russell 3000 component MDU Resources Group Inc. (NYSE: MDU) was identified as having a larger market cap than the smaller end of the S&P 500, for example Joy Global Inc (NYSE: JOY), according to The Online Investor. Click here to find out the top S&P 500 components ordered by average analyst rating » …read more