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  • Will the real Wall Street Santa Claus please stand up?

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 1 hr ago

    It’s the most wonderful time of the year on Wall Street-- time for the Santa Claus rally.

    Investors have generally enjoyed some nice stock market gains at the end of the year, dubbing this seasonal bullish push the “Santa Claus rally.”

    And recent history bears that out.

    Over the past four years, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) showed fairly strong gains during this time. For example, last year the Dow was up 3% from Thanksgiving to the close of trading on New Year’s Eve. And in 2011, the Blue Chips soared 8.5% during the holiday period. In fact, the last time the Dow stumbled a bit between Turkey Day and New Year’s Day was in the recession year of 2009…and even then stocks were pretty much flat.

    But Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says like the Christmas creep we’ve seen as retailers start the holiday shopping season earlier and earlier, investors are also playing fast and loose with the calendar when it comes to the Santa Claus rally.

    “I want to get back to the strict definition,” he says. “That was the five trading days preceding the new year and the first two days of the new year.”

  • Chrysler: end of the road?

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 1 day ago

    An iconic symbol of an iconic America carmaker is disappearing. But could that mean the brand is going away as well?

    Chrysler-- which was bought outright by Italy’s Fiat at the beginning of the year-- is getting rid of its more than 50-year-old “pentastar” logo. It’s being replaced by the stylized letters “F-C-A,” which stands for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU), the name of the combined carmaker, which began trading on the New York Stock Exchange last month.

    And Yahoo Finance Columnist Rick Newman wonders if this might be a sign that the end is near for the venerable brand.

    “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has four divisions here in the United States-- Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat,” he points out. “Nobody else but General Motors (GM) has four divisions. And there’s been talk that Fiat Chrysler has one division too many, and there’s a lot of speculation about which division might go away. So if you want to play the speculation game-- if the logo of the Chrysler division goes away, maybe Chrysler goes away.”

    He feels a cosmetic change won’t help that.

    Newman agrees.

  • Deere gets dumped; Hewlett-Packard sales miss; Hertz gets an Icahn boost

    Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 2 days ago

    Here is a look at some stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today.

    Hewlett-Packard  (HPQ) share were under pressure in early trading. The struggling PC maker's latest financial report did not impress investors as it prepares to split its enterprise services from its traditional computer and printing unit early next year. Revenue missed estimates as sales fell in almost every business segment. But earnings per share matched forecasts.

    Deere (DE) shares got dumped in early trading. The company said its fiscal 2015 profits will be below analysts' estimates due to a drop in equipment sales as farmers scale back on spending on the heels of falling commodity prices. However, earnings and revenue for last quarter surpassed expectations.

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  • Stocks struggle after economic data; Hewlett-Packard sales fall short; Chrysler trades in its logo

    Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 2 days ago

    Stocks are struggling to make any headway after a wave of economic data hit Wall Street this morning.

    The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending rebounded in October from September, up 0.2% and personal income rose by the same amount.  However, economists were expecting a bigger jump in both numbers.

    In a separate report from the Commerce Department showed aircraft orders helped lift durable goods orders in October. New orders for manufactured products unexpectedly rose 0.4% last month following a 0.9% drop in September. But when you strip out the volatile transportation sector, or ders fell 0.9%. That’s the biggest drop since December 2013.  

    Meantime, the number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits jumped to an 11-week high.  The Labor Department reporting that initial jobless claims rose by 21,000 to 313,000 last week.

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    Investors also keeping a close eye on oil prices ahead of Thursday’s OPEC meeting.

  • Tiffany sparkles; Campbell Soup on the move; Sony's new plan

    Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 3 days ago

    Tiffany ( TIF ) shares are sparkling in early trading. The upscale jewelry retailer reported earnings and revenue that missed analysts' estimates due to weak demand in Japan.  However, the company’s same-store sales growth was better-than-expected and it stood by its earnings outlook for the year.

    Campbell Soup (CPB) shares are on the move. The maker of canned soup posted earnings and revenue that topped forecasts. Revenue rose 4% from a year earlier as soup sales in the U.S. improved. But the company trimmed its earnings per share and sales growth guidance for the year which ends in August due to volatility in foreign currencies. 

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    Amgen (AMGN) shares on investors' watch list. The world's biggest biotech firm said it halted late-stage clinical trials of its stomach cancer treatment after a safety board discovered an increase in the number of deaths of patients taking drug along with chemotherapy.

  • Elsa and 'Frozen' steal Barbie's toy crown

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 3 days ago

    Move over, Barbie, there’s a new queen of toys.

    Elsa the Snow Queen and other merchandise from Disney’s (DIS) animated mega-hit movie, “Frozen,” are the most popular toys for girls this holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation pollof parents.

    It’s the first time in the 11 years of the retailing group’s survey that Mattel’s (MAT) Barbie wasn’t number one.

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli doesn’t think we should be surprised.

    “’Frozen’ has become this all-encompassing phenomenon in the girl demographic,” he points out. “It’s fresh on kids’ minds, you have the long-lasting Disney effort to extend this to all sorts of products and I also think it resonates with parents.”

    Santoli says the ‘Frozen’ message to girls makes Elsa and the other characters especially popular now.

    Yahoo Finance Editor in Chief Aaron Task agrees.

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  • Stock stumble after consumer confidence slips; GDP data revised up; Elsa and Disney overtake Barbie

    Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 3 days ago

    Wall Street is wavering after a mixed bag of economic data.

    The latest GDP data showed the economy grew more than forecast in the third quarter.  The Commerce Department reported that Gross Domestic Product climbed 3.9% last quarter. That’s better than the 3.3% economists were expecting and higher than the initial reading of 3.5%.  

    However, Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli points out that the first estimate of corporate profits slowed dramatically in the third quarter.

    “From the corporate perspective we are at a pretty mature point in this cycle,  and we may not be able to ring out that much more out of corporate profit margins than we have already,” Santoli says.

    Meanwhile, consumer confidence unexpectedly fell in November.

    The Conference Board said that the index fell to 88.7 this month from a five-year high of 94.1 in October.

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

    Earnings also grabbing investors’ attention this morning.

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

  • Can zombies sell Budweiser beer?

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 4 days ago

    Goodbye, Clydesdales. Hello, zombies!

    The iconic Clydesdale horses that have been a part of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s (BUD) traditional advertising for generations apparently are out.

    The Wall Street Journal reports the beer maker is dropping the Clydesdales from its ads and replacing them with millennials enjoying drinking its signature brew. The paper saying the company is making the move in an effort to attract 20-something drinkers who aren’t reaching for a bottle of the King of Beers much anymore, with almost half of those aged 21 to 27 having never even tasted a Bud.

    But Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task has some serious questions about this strategy.

    “I guess they want to do something different,” he says. “But Budweiser’s Super Bowl ads are always fantastic. The puppy and the horse one was amazing, it was a tearjerker. I don’t care how old you are, you can’t watch that and not be moved.”

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

    Task feels Budweiser’s difficulty isn’t the company’s marketing, it’s the product.

    But Task doesn’t expect that to happen.

     

  • 'Hunger Games' fails to live up to expectations; Tesla and BMW in talks; United Technologies CEO retires abruptly

    Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 4 days ago

    Here are some stocks the Yahoo Finance team is watching for you today.

    Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) were lower in early trading. The movie studio behind the “Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1” racked in a whopping $123 million in ticket sales over the weekend, making it the biggest opening of the year in the U.S.  However, the box office take didn't top the $150 million plus the first two Hunger Games films earned in their debut and was short of expectations.

    United Technologies (UTX) also in the spotlight this morning after an abrupt change in the company's executive suite.  Chairman and CEO Louis Chenevert is retiring, effective immediately. The industrial conglomerate is promoting Chief Financial Officer Greg Hayes to the top job.

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

  • Stocks aim for more records; Tesla talking to BMW; 'Hunger Games' debut misses previous openings

    Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 4 days ago

    Wall Street bulls are not showing any signs of pulling back this morning. The Dow Jones Industrials (^DJI) and S&P 500 (^GPSC) are aiming for more records after a fifth straight week of gains.

    Oil prices are steady this morning as OPEC leaders prepare to meet on Thursday to decide whether or not to cut production to stop the recent slide in crude prices. 

    Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task says even though OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries ) may not have the clout it used to, they still control a third of global production.

    Task also points out that if OPEC does not cut production at this week's meeting we could see oil prices fall even further, in the $60 dollars a barrel range.

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

    Task says Musk sees a huge opportunity in Europe, where green technology is a major political force. 

    “Musk understands the need to have partnerships with companies that have long histories of producing cars in mass volumes,” according to Task.