- Kevin Chupka at Breakout1 hr ago
You may have heard a lot about net neutrality over the past several months. Thanks to some new developments out of Washington, D.C. it’s making headlines again. While the topic is nuanced, many may still be wondering what exactly net neutrality is at its core and why there’s so much debate over it.
Net neutrality is a principle that all internet traffic should be treated equal. So whether it’s Netflix (NFLX) or a personal blog frequented only by close friends and family, the speed with which the content is delivered should be the same.
The problem is big internet service providers (Comcast, AT&T etc.) don’t agree that should be the case. Take Netflix. It is eating up tons of internet bandwidth thanks to millions of people streaming high definition videos. Comcast (CMCSA), AT&T (T) and others like them believe they should be able to charge Netflix for fast service to deliver their content effectively to the consumer.
- Jeff Macke at Breakout1 hr ago
Here are the trending tickers for today as measured by the list of your Yahoo Finance ticker searches:
Isaac Newton be damned Apple (AAPL) is falling higher by more than 7%. The company posted a terrific quarter last night, beating on the top and bottom lines and recording its best margins in years. Shareholders are also jazzed over a $30 billion increase of its buyback program, an 8% dividend boost and weirdest of all a 7 for 1 stock split. That's right: 7. Post-split Apple will be about $80 per share; almost exactly the median price of the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI). I still say it's a huge mistake not to be investing in the store base but we're making money today so who cares?
- Pras Subramanian at Breakout3 hrs ago
Facebook (FB) demolished earnings expectations last night, thanks to a large jump in mobile advertising. To wit, Facebook Q1 EPS beat expectations by a dime, earning 34 cents per share as it gained 43% more daily mobile users in the process. So what does this mean for the Facebook trade and social media stocks in general?
Drilling down a little deeper, Sun Trust analyst Bob Peck noted some key metrics to keep in mind concerning Facebook’s most recent quarter:
The big issue though for Facebook going forward in Peck’s mind is expectations. “Comps get harder from here,” basically implying Facebook’s strong Q2 from 2013 will be the baseline when Facebook reports next quarter, which means Wall Street expectations will be much higher.
Simon Baker of Baker Ave Asset Management is still bullish on Facebook and select social media stocks, despite the expectations issue.
- Jeff Macke at Breakout3 hrs ago
After months of product announcements and price tweaks Amazon (AMZN) will finally talk numbers tonight after the closing bell. Analysts are officially expecting earnings of 23-cents per share on $19.43 billion in revenues. With shares off $75 since Amazon's last earnings report and the company's famous disdain for profits, shareholders are simply hoping for anything better than agonizing.
There's no shortage of questions surrounding the world's largest online retailer. In just the last 3 months Amazon has raised the price of its Prime subscription, secured a deal to stream HBO programs, released a voice-activated set-top box and is still expanding into local delivery.
- Jeff Macke at Breakout6 hrs ago
It should come as no surprise to anyone with the physical ability to sense temperature that the first quarter of 2014 was slow as far as the economy was concerned. When a long cold winter meets a slow-growth economy, activity freezing to a halt is the only reasonable forecast.
The meteorological fact of the horrendous climate is the best explanation for why Wall Street seems to be drawing strength from the ongoing drumbeat of downcast news from corporate America. Barely half of the companies that have reported so far managed to beat famously low-balled revenue forecasts and earnings are little better. Unless there are dramatic beats lurking out there, Q1 2014 will be the first time growth has contracted since 2012.
- Pras Subramanian at Breakout1 day ago
Say one thing about this bull market, it’s resilient. A tough start to the year has almost been forgotten, with stocks fighting to push higher. In fact, the Dow Transports (^DJT), a leading indicator of sorts for many in the market, just hit a new all-time high today.
Even with this resilience, veteran stockpicker and friend of Breakout Hugh Johnson of HJ Advisors isn’t taking anything to chance, as he’s seeing some other patterns forming that aren’t completely bullish.
“Look at the performance of the market recently,” he says in the attached clip, “the market’s themselves have become defensive, the best performing sector is utilities, you see large cap outperforming small cap stocks, we see value stocks outperforming growth stocks.”
Whipping out his playbook, here are his top plays to stay defensive, as well as a couple stable offensive trades, for investors to stay on top of this market
- Breakout Staff at Breakout1 day ago
Today's Trending Tickers based on your Yahoo Finance searches are:
American aircraft manufacturer Boeing (BA) is lifting higher on it's earnings. The stock was up about 2% during it's 10:30 earnings call this morning where management discussed their 14% higher adjusted profit which beat estimates, and their positive outlook for 2014 due to rising jet production.
Household product makers Procter & Gamble (PG) are also generating interest after reporting earnings this morning. Unlike Boeing, this company didn't fair so well...Shares were falling into the red after P&G reported flat net sales in its third-quarter earnings, though the company beat estimates on the bottom line by 3 cents. P&G reported earnings per share of $1.01.
- Jeff Macke at Breakout1 day ago
In a letter to investors in his fund, hot-shot hedge fund manager David Einhorn claims "we are witnessing our second tech bubble in 15 years.” To support his case Einhorn cites examples like the rejection of “conventional valuation methods,” short sellers being forced to cover positions and big first-day pops for IPOs.
In the attached clip Mark Luschini of Janney urges investors not to paint the tech market with quite so broad a brush. “The tech sector is about 19% of the S&P 500 (^GSPC) so a lot of companies get rolled up into that space,” Luschini notes, “While I agree that particularly some of the social media companies that were trading at 20, 50, 100 times earnings or sometimes ‘priced to hope’ earnings ratios are indicative of bubble-like characteristics, I can’t say that for the tech industry in the aggregate.”
- Jeff Macke at Breakout1 day ago
This week a very rich man made about a billion dollars trading on material, non-public information.
The investor is Bill Ackman and what he knew was that Valeant Pharmaceuticals would be making an unsolicited bid for botox-maker Allergan. Ackman knew about the bid because he and his Pershing Square Capital Management were partners with Valeant in the bid.
In anticipation of this deal Ackman purchased 4.99% of Allergan stock over several weeks. Once that stake was built Ackman let the market settle for a few days before going for the kill. In what he called a "rapid accumulation program" of Allergan stock. (In English Ackman bought call options and "forward contracts" giving him the right to buy another 4.7% of the company at a set price and date to be named later).
- Jeff Macke at Breakout1 day ago
April has been the cruelest of months for traders. Unless you count last February which was pretty horrible as well. In fact, anyone active in the market has had more than enough opportunity to get themselves flipped in and out of the market with the worst imaginable timing.
No one has had a worse run of it than the well-respected Dennis Gartman who got whip-sawed out of stocks on April 7th, reiterated the call on the 10th, and suddenly showed up long yesterday morning, right in time for a rally back from where the market was at its heights.
Which isn’t to pick on Gartman in particular. This is a very difficult stock market and trading via pundit is all but impossible under the best of circumstances. If anything Gartman at least has the grace to change his mind about the call rather than sticking to disastrous, multi-year bear calls or emerging annually to shout “Crash” into any open mic a la Marc Faber in 2012, 2013 and earlier this month.