Posts by Jeff Macke

  • Holiday retailer wrap-up

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    Turns out there's going to be a Christmas this year after all. The newswires were burning up early on Monday after retail analytics firm ShopperTrak estimated total retail sales on Saturday would come in at about $10 billion. That's almost $1 billion higher than Black Friday, which we declared dead as a concept in this very space almost 2 months ago.

    So for the 91st time in the last 100 years the Saturday before Christmas will be the biggest shopping day of the year. Overall it looks like the original National Retail Federation estimate of 4.1% sales growth will be about right. Consumers are spending, no matter how tempting it is to think otherwise. That's probably why you see the XRT retail ETF (XRT) lagging for the year but exploding higher in the last three months. Gas prices are falling, jobs are available and Americans like to shop. Go figure.

    Here are a couple other key takeaways from this Christmas and 2014 as a whole for retail:

  • Amazon advances, Gilead's Hep C loss & Caesars buys affiliate

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    All Hail Caesars Entertainment (CZR), at least for today. Despite the famous brand its operated for years as a sort of a baffling assortment of properties, carve outs and debt thanks to a convoluted buyout by Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital. The Caesars stock-for-stock merger announced today is boosting the shares. It will remarry Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Acquisition company. It's complicated but the net impact is that the $18 billion debt load being lugged around will be easier to manage. This finagling marks the latest, best effort by the ownership groups to keep Caesars viable in some form as an at least partially public company. Great outcome for Caesars holders, that's for sure.

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  • The 10% stock market correction you never noticed

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    Blink and you missed it. I am talking about the latest flash mini-correction for stocks. Surely you recall the cruel market correction that started on December 5th and took stocks down 5% in 9 sessions on an intraday basis. Of course if you took last week off you missed the brunt of the selling. In fact Wednesday and Thursday were the first back-to-back 2% rally days for the S&P 500 since March of 2009. By Friday investors had come within a rounding error of a new record and all was forgiven.

    It's numerical fact that these V bottoms have become commonplace. I've been talking about them all year and by now Main Street is taking notice as well. As Dana Lyons, partner, at J. Lyons Fund and Yahoo Finance Contributor has noted, we've now had 10 V-bottom sell-offs of more than 3% since early 2013. That's compared to a grand total of 38 in the prior 62 years combined.

    More from Yahoo Finance Yahoo Finance 2014 Company of the Year: Under Armour

  • Mattel's toy troubles, BlackBerry beat down & CarMax climbs to fresh record

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 6 days ago

    CarMax (KMX) is burning rubber and moving higher by as much as 10%. The nation's largest seller of used cars said earnings for its third quarter came in at $0.60 a share, a full $0.06 better than estimates. What's notable here is that expectations were pretty high coming into the number, with shares already at record levels. Apparently its not just new cars being bought by consumers in 2014; shares of CarMax are more than 40% higher on the year.

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    More from Yahoo Yellen Claus rally leaves bears Scrooged Dov Charney: American Apparel offered me millions to stay Yahoo Finance 2014 Company of the Year: Under Armour

  • Yellen Claus rally leaves bears Scrooged

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 6 days ago

    How 'bout that stock market?!

    Some of you were probably expecting a slightly more nuanced take on the market action of the last two days. After all the Dow (^DJI) was up 421 points yesterday, the biggest one day rally since November of 2011. In the last two sessions the S&P 500 (^GSPC) has gained 4.5%, recovering almost all of the losses sustained during December and leaving us once again within striking distance of new record highs.

    Related: Yellen Claus is the last hope for bulls this year

    This rally isn't about finance so much as it is emotion. Nothing changed over the last two days, save for Janet Yellen slightly modifying her constant stance, and a whole bunch of traders getting caught short. That's it. Once again the market stared into the abyss and decided not to die just yet.

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  • American Apparel: Manufacturing a comeback after years of scandal

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 7 days 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.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    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 8 days 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.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    More From Yahoo Finance:

  • Yellen Claus is the last hope for bulls this year

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 8 days 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 9 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.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    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 9 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.