Posts by Jeff Macke

  • 4 tips for not stressing out this holiday season

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 19 hrs ago

    Believe it or not tonight is what astrophysicists might call the Event Horizon of 2014. After tonight there will be no escape from what AAA and economists think the most manic, crowded, guilt-ridden holiday season since before the Great Recession. Nearly 50 million Americans will be traveling over this long weekend, the most since 2007. Weirder still, despite the trend towards online shopping stores are going to be packed with some experts saying holiday gift spending could be up more than 5% over last year.

    It's exciting times for kids but any parent knows creating the magic can turn the cheeriest Santa into an unrecognizable psycho-Grinch. Fear not: Here are four tips for surviving the next five days without wrecking your budget, your marriage or your kids' memory of family vacations.

  • Apple's value hits $700B, Tiffany shines and Pandora investors tune out

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 23 hrs ago

    It’s official; Apple (AAPL) is now the $700 billion gorilla of Wall Street, the first S&P 500 (^GSPC) company to see its market cap hit that level. Shares are moving higher, at $119 a share, after yet another analyst raised the price target on the stock. Tuesday, the team at Stifel Nicolaus predicted shares can hit $130 on anticipation that the Apple Watch will be a winner. On Monday, the team at Susquehanna raised its target to $135 on the view demand for the iPhone 6 will be strong. Bottom line: the trend is your friend and Apple shares will likely add to what is nearly a 50% gain already this year.

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    How Sony got its groove back

    Jay Leno hopes Tesla's critics are wrong

  • How Sony got its groove back

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    Sony (SNE) shares hit three and a half year highs in Tokyo today after the company swallowed its pride and took a step back from the business-as-usual practices that have been plaguing it for more than a decade.

    In yet another of what seem to be monthly investor updates Sony raised its margin guidance for its red-hot sensor business and announced that will cut back on television set offerings until the division is profitable, even if that means a sales drop of as much as 30%.

    If we weren't talking about Sony these guys would actually look like a company hitting on many, if not all cylinders. Sony's PS4 has been crushing Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox One. After one year of both consoles being on the market the PS4 has officially outsold the XBox 13.5 million to 10 million based on units shipped to retailers. Insiders say that the much more important metric of actual sell-through to consumers (remember, Microsoft has all those stores to stock with Xbox Ones) Sony may have as much as a 2:1 lead over the gang in Redmond.

  • Verizon profits may take a hit, Redbox hikes DVD rental fees & Starz for sale?

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    Starz (STRZA), the company that was spun out of John Malone’s Liberty Media (LMCA) last year, may be better off as part of a larger media company with other cable channels. According to the New York Post and other published reports, Malone is looking for about $5 billion for Starz, which like HBO and Showtime, is increasingly competing with Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN) but lacks the bench strength of other networks. Seems like a nice idea but at a market cap of $3.2 billion Malone may be asking quite a lot from bidders.

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    Dow 20,000 and how we'll get there

  • The trend to watch on this short trading week

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    The average price per gallon of gas dropped to $2.81 cents according to a report from AAA this morning. That's a drop of yet another eight cents over just the last week. The average price for a gallon of gas is down $0.47or 14% since 2013.

    As you know I'm not a huge believer in the idea that lower gas prices stimulate spending in a huge way but this stuff does start to add up. AAA expects 46 million Americans to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving and 90% of them are driving. Both road and air traffic will be at levels not seen since 2007. The experience of flying may have gotten a little less pleasant from a crowding and comfort perspective but fares are only up 1%. 

    Whether you're buying a new outfit for dinner at grandma's or stopping at Applebee's on the way, there are a million different ways the holidays lead to more spending and travel related expenses. It's bullish to have more Americans on the road with a little extra cash in their pockets.

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  • GameStop levels down, Hertz's new boss, Sotheby's chief off the auction block

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

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

    Hertz (HTZ) shares are higher by more than 3% after hiring a new CEO John Tague. He comes to the rental car giant from United Airlines and is known for his no-nonsense management style. That is probably why Activist Investor Carl Icahn and the board unanimously selected Tague. Of course whatever his disposition may be Hertz' problems run deeper than attitude. The company has restated its past results and essentially announced that none of the numbers posted over the last few years are to be taken at face value.

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    Those are your Trending Tickers today. Tell us what stocks you're watching on Twitter using the hashtag #TrendingTickers


  • Gap taking a page from Sears' playbook

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    Gap (GPS) is getting clobbered this morning after the San Francisco-based basic apparel pioneers posted another disappointing quarter.

    For the full year the company took estimates down to $2.73 from as high as $3 give or take a nickel. Since we're already in the last quarter of the year that's a sort of annoying way of warning big for the all important holiday quarter.

    It's a tough exit for outgoing CEO Glenn Murphy who announced in October that he will be leaving early next year; an announcement made immediately after a weak sales report. Murphy is now in the awkward position of watching his replacements disassemble his management team even as he has months left on his contract.

    Gap's real problem is below the headlines. CFO Sabrina Simmons told analysts Gap intends to reduce capital expenditures to $700 million from a prior $750 million. The reason she gave came down to expected return on investment. Simmons said with margins coming down it didn't make sense to invest as much on stores.

  • Best Buy, Williams-Sonoma retail winners, while Caesars aims for REIT jackpot

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    Investors are boosting Best Buy (BBY). The electronics giant is up more than 7% after reporting an earnings beat. The stronger than expected results were fueled by same store sales that popped a little more than 3% in the third quarter. If "showrooming" was a concern for them this time last year, they proved to have overcome it with online sales surging more than 21% last quarter.

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    Caesars Entertainment (CZR), the deep in debt casino owner, is hitting the jackpot with shareholders to the tune of 9% today. This as the casino company proposed a plan to restructure all that debt, $18.4B worth,  by splitting in two. They would take the 44 properties they own and form a REIT while the existing company would then operate those properties.The details were disclosed in a regulatory filing.

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    3 Market stories to watch today

  • 3 market stories to watch today

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 6 days ago

    It's Thursday morning and futures are lower for reasons I could make up, but let's just attribute the weakness to animal spirits and move on to more tangible news. Here are three things I'm watching.

    Take a look first at the technical picture for the S&P 500 (^GSPC). Yes, we're down almost a full percent but that was the case yesterday as well. Check out how we gave back all of Tuesday's rally intraday on Wednesday. That brought the bears out of the woodwork, as usual, but also as usual they were wrong. By the afternoon stocks were flat and the S&P toyed with positive territory before closing down a whopping 0.15%. Don't anticipate trends. The burden of proof is on the bears to prove the momentum is broken.

    Related: Bull market needs no taming

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

    Have a great day and if you're not watching every tick of the tape consider shopping for some holiday gifts. The prices aren't going to get much better.

  • Target & Staples top estimates, while Tesla estimates get slashed

    Jeff Macke at Yahoo Finance 6 days ago

    Target (TGT) started strong and it's gaining steam, now up more than 7% after the company reported earnings of $0.54, well ahead of $0.47 estimates. Minnesota's finest discounter also said it expected holiday quarter U.S. same store sales of 2% driven by a decent consumer and a rebound from a terrible 2013 when a data breach was revealed just ahead of Christmas. In the words of my native tongue: “Oh jeez we're just tearing the shorts a new one dere.”

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    Staples (SPLS) is up 8% after beating earnings and announcing an expansion of its store closings. The company now plans to shutter 170 stores in North America this year, 30 more than the 140 previously announced. As we discussed Monday, Staples is rather surprisingly the second or third largest online merchant in the United States. Despite today's move, shares are down 13% for 2014.














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