Posts by Jeff Macke

  • American Apparel: Manufacturing a comeback after years of scandal

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 5 hrs ago

    Teen fashion chain American Apparel (APP) is in the headlines after ousting controversial founder Dov Charney. Retail veteran Paula Schneider officially takes the top spot January 5th and she's got a big job ahead of her. It's no small task considering American Apparel's reputation for scandal has been overshadowing its performance as a business for years.

    Schneider's first task will be figuring out what American Apparel even is without Charney. Salacious advertising and a dedication to what Charney referred to as "no sweatshop" production created a business that still somehow has more than $600 million in annual revenues but almost as many lawsuits, accusations and tainted relationships.

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    Despite the controversy and fading fortunes of his company Charney has plenty of loyal fans. He started the company in his dorm room while still attending Tufts University and built it into a 10,000 employee operation. What's more Charney, a Canadian ex-pat, was fiercely committed to creating jobs in America.

  • Chasing Cuba, Sony snubbed & American Apparel ditches CEO

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    Carmike Cinemas (CKEC) is up 1% after announcing that it's bowing to terrorist threats and refusing to show Sony's (SNE) film The Interview. Earlier this week hackers threatened "September 11" type attacks on theaters showing the film; a comedy about two hapless reporters charged with assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The estimated cost to Sony related to the hacks is now topping $100 million. Carmike unlikely to win any awards for standing up for artists with this move but shareholders seem to think discretion is the better part of valor.

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  • Yellen Claus is the last hope for bulls this year

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    Another day another ruthless, demoralizing beating for stock market bulls on Tuesday. A weak open gave way to a giddy rally that took stocks almost 1.5% higher. All was well and good until about lunchtime at which point all the joy was sucked out of Whoville and sellers regained controlled. By the merciful closing bell the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) was down nearly 1%. It's darkly appropriate that the trading traced out a one-day pattern I call the Christmas Tree of Death . At this point investors are just looking for excuses to sell. As it happens the world is giving out plenty of them, including FedEx (FDX) profits which missed the mark this morning. Those shares are set to open sharply lower.

    Related: What to watch during the last full trading week of 2014

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  • McDonald's moves on Ackman chatter, Google's slide continues, energy stocks recharge

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    Google (GOOG) is not taking part in any bounce activity today. Shares are down more than 1.5% and making a new 52-week low. It's been a tough year for the stock which is off almost 10%. Chalk up some of that to a money drift into shares of Apple (AAPL) but longer term investors are getting a little antsy about all those R&D projects that have yet to pay off in a big way. For good measure, J.P. Morgan (JPM) cut its price target on the shares today to $600 down from $670.

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    And finally as my Dad used to say even a blind pig finds the occasional truffle. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) is bouncing higher today after a cruel few weeks.  It's only up 1.5% but after a 20% drop in the last three months even sideways looks like a rally for these stocks. Through that lens today's action looks like the start of a glorious comeback. We'll see.


  • Story of the high school day trader making $72 million fails the smell test

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    Note: Yahoo published this story prior to the revelation that Mohammed Islam and his friend Damir Tulemaganbetov had lied to Jessica Pressler and NY Magazine. In an interview with the NY Observer last night the pair admitted that they had actually only practiced in a stimulated trading environment and had made $0 instead of the rumored $72 million. Yahoo reached out to Jessica Pressler regarding her interview, she claims that she saw a bank account in Mohammed Islam's name that held money in the high eight figures and that she made it very clear in her article that the $72 million number was a rumor. Though this article and video were originally published prior to any revelation, our team was able to deduce that this was a hoax from the get go.

    Based on his press clippings 17-year-old high school senior Mohammed "Mo" Islam has already achieved a level of market mastery beyond most investor’s wildest dreams. The question is whether or not there's even a grain of truth behind the growing legend.

    The math simply doesn't work. 


  • Russia in chaos! Ghost of '98 crash haunting stocks

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    U.S. futures are slightly higher this morning, at least as I speak. If anything, the early signs of life should be a warning sign to investors after yesterday saw a higher open followed by six hours of selling. When the dust settled the S&P 500 (^GSPC) had lost another .6%, closing perilously below the key support at 2,000.

    The big news this morning is that Russia's Central Bank raised rates by 650 basis points to 17% in an attempt to stop the ruble's crash against other major currencies. The ruble improved by as much as 9% against the dollar before collapsing entirely. Suffice it to say the ruble has now replaced the free-fall in crude at the top of the "Big List of Horrible Things for Stock Investors."

    Related: A playbook for the December VIX spike: Jon Najarian

    I realize U.S. stocks aren't even down 5% from record highs. I'm not overstating the sell-off so far but markets tend to repeat themselves and this market is evoking some dark memories of past crashes.

  • PetSmart's purrrfect $8.3B takeover, Sony warns reporters & Bob Evans' CEO out

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    The board at Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) said Bye-Bye to its long-time CEO Steve Davis. That's giving the stock a 3% boost. While the two said the agreement was mutual, the casual dining chain has been under siege by activist hedge fund Sandell Asset Management, who along with many investors, have been watching profits, revenue and same store sales steadily decline. It will be awhile before investors know if better days lie ahead for the chain.

    Finally, "Who's a good stock? PetSmart's (PETM) a good stock!" the nations biggest pet retailer is higher by more than 4% after agreeing to be purchased by UK buyout shop BC Partners for $8.3 billion. It's a remarkable win for hedge fund activist shop Jana Partners which disclosed a 9.9% stake in PetSmart last summer. Jana stands to make just under a quarter of a billion on the deal even as the junk bond funding for deals collapses. Nice work, guys.

    A playbook for the December VIX spike: Jon Najarian


  • What to watch during the last full trading week of 2014

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    Futures look higher but appearances are deceiving. Stocks are actually right where traders left them on Friday after the worst week in years. Frankly, most traders would be happy to call it a year at this point given the eroding support for equities and the assorted nightmares developing overseas. Alas, we still have to work and for some this is a make or break five days. Here's what you need to know heading into the last full trading week of 2014.

    The S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) dropped 3.5% last week, closing so poorly on Friday that the bell sounded vaguely like a watermelon getting smashed with a bat. Typically markets don't bottom on Fridays, especially when they close at the lows.

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    A playbook for the December VIX spike: Jon Najarian

    This NASA rocket scientist quit his job to make ugly Christmas sweaters









  • Stock-holm Syndrome: Equities held hostage by oil

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 6 days ago

    Futures getting smoked like salmon this morning. Here's a hint why: Because crude is falling. Forgive me... I'm not much for subtle hints.

    If you're still doubting the cause and effect between the uncontrolled price drop in crude and the negative impact on stocks take a look at yesterday. At one point Thursday morning the Dow was up more than 220pts and the S&P 500 had gained 1.5%. At about 1pm crude rolled over in earnest. From then it was a race to the see if we could get to the closing bell before all the gains were lost.

    We did but just barely. The S&P gave back more than 20 points in the last 3-hours. Sure we finished 9pts higher but that close thud left the tape below support and still vulnerable for more losses. Stocks are going going to continue to get sold when crude gets crushed. You're free to object to that idea. It may not seem intuitive to you. That's fine. I'm not trying to persuade you. I'm just telling you what is happening. How you react is your business.

  • Lululemon pops on earnings, Staples surges on activist talk, Lakeland sinks as Ebola fears wane

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago

    Time for your daily dose of Trending Tickers, the stocks that you're tracking as measured by Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Lululemon (LULU) shouting a hearty "Namaste" to investors. Shares are up 10% after the yoga wear maker (and Jeff Macke holding) reported earnings of $0.42 a share, $0.04 ahead of expectations. The company also lowered revenue guidance citing delayed store openings, port problems on the west coast and weakness in the Canadian dollar. Bears are grousing about that guidance but I have a hard time caring. Expectations were low and as for store openings, frankly I'm more excited about the fact that online sales account for nearly 1/5 of Lulu's business. Ultimately, it's all about the pants and fashion. Lulu caught the yoga pant wave. In a good economy that's more than enough to get them through some pains.

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