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  • Can zombies sell Budweiser beer?

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 10 hrs 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.”

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    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 10 hrs 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.

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

    Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 12 hrs 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.

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    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.

  • The Fed and Wall Street banks: Too cozy?

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 3 days ago

    Changes could be coming soon to the Federal Reserve.

    Under mounting criticism of the way it regulates big banks, the Fed says it is conducting a two-pronged investigation of how it supervises financial firms. Meantime, the Senate Banking Committee is holding a hearing today on the relationship between the Fed and Wall Street.

    Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman thinks it’s about time for the Fed to make some adjustments.

    “The Fed did, arguably, save the financial system in 2008 and 2009,” he points out. “And their whole mantra has been in order for the economy to recover, the banking industry and the financial industry has to recover. So the Fed is the emergency room doctor pumping transfusions into the lifeblood of the economy, and their attitude is that, ‘Hey, we’re saving the world and you’re arguing that we’re a little too cozy with the patient?’ Well, the world has now been saved and this seems to be a very appropriate time for the Fed to step back and say we do have a more important regulatory role than we’re playing.”

    However, Newman believes the effort is worth it.

     

     

  • Gap and GameStop warn of tough holiday season; Foot Locker gets pumped up

    Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 3 days ago

    Earnings continue to drive some stocks this morning.

    Gap (GPS) shares are lower ahead of the bell.  The apparel retailer that operates Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic stores cut its 2014 profit forecast and warning of a tough holiday season ahead. The company also reported third quarter earnings and revenue that missed analysts' estimates, hurt by a 5% decline in Gap store sales.  And it’s shaking up the leadership of those struggling namesake stores.

    Foot Locker (FL) shares rose in early trading. The sportswear retailer reported earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street views as it continues to benefit from strong demand for basketball and running shoes.

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    GameStop (GME) shares took a big hit in early trading. The video-game retailer predicted a not so rosy holiday season after third quarter earnings and revenue missed estimates due to the delayed release of “Assassin's Creed Unity.”

     

  • Wall Street rally underway; China suprises with a rate cut; Gap sees weak holiday ahead

    Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 3 days ago

    Wall Street's record-breaking streak shows no signs of abating.  The Dow Jones Industrials (^DJI) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) are touching fresh intraday highs this morning. 

    Investor's applauding a s urprise move by China's central bank to cut a key interest rate for the first time in more than two years. The European Central Bank also helping matters this morning, President Mario Draghi said the ECB is ready expand its asset purchase programs to boost growth and the rate of inflation

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    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli said other global central banks are taking their turn to stoke growth now, while the U.S. Federal Reserve is looking for an opportunity to raise rates next year.

    Related: The Fed and Wall Street banks:  Too cozy?

    Retailers continue to roll out quarterly results.

     

  • Wal-Mart gets punked

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 4 days ago

    Even the world’s biggest retailer is no match for scammers.

    Wal-Mart (WMT) is changing its online price match policy after some enterprising shoppers found a way to fool the system. The scammers created bogus ads with ridiculously low prices for Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 4 and got Wal-Mart to match them. Then to add insult to injury, they posted their eye-popping receipts on social media.

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says this is just a new twist on a very old game.

    “You’ve always had scams in retail,” he says. “This is just a high-tech version of it.”

    Santoli points out this is a good example of how some folks will go to great lengths to get something for nothing.

    “Obviously Wal-Mart left some gaps in there for people to try to game the system and they seized on them,” he points out. “They found ways to slither through those little loopholes.”

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  • Best Buy rings in some holiday cheer; GoPro falls as insiders unload shares; Alibaba taps U.S. bond market

    Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 4 days ago

    Some stocks to watch this morning. 

    Investors bought up shares of Best Buy (BBY) ahead of the bell. The consumer electronics retailer reported earnings and revenue that topped analysts' estimates, thanks to stronger-than-expected same-stores sales in the U.S., which grew 3.2% in the third quarter.  The company also saw strength online with sales jumping 21.6%.  However, the retailer is still concerned about the highly competitive promotional environment heading into the holiday shopping season.

    Salesforce.com (CRM) shares were lower in early trading. The cloud computing company cut its sales outlook for the current quarter and the full year due to a stronger dollar.  This comes after it reported a slight beat on earnings and revenue in the third quarter as it continues to benefit from companies switching to the cloud.

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  • Stocks sway; Best Buy optimistic about the holidays; Facebook drivers unionize

    Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 4 days ago

    Stocks are off session lows after some encouraging economic data out of the U.S. overshadowed  weaker-than-expected manufacturing data out of the Euro region and China. 

    Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region took off in November.  The Philly Fed Index more than doubled this month to 40.8. That's its highest level since December 1993.  

    The housing market is also not looking too shabby. Sales of previously owned homes hit a one year high in October.  National Association of Realtors said existing home sales rose 1.5% to an annual rate of 5.26 million units.  

    Meantime,  gas prices kept a lid on consumer inflation, even as the cost of housing and medical care increased in October.  The Labor Department reported that the consumer price index was unchanged last month. Economists were looking for a decline of 0.1% after a rise of 0.1 in September.

    And fewer people filed for unemployment benefits last week. The Labor Department reported weekly jobless claims fell by 2, 000 to a seasonally adjusted 291,000. 

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  • Black Friday: "I'm not dead yet!"

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 5 days ago

    Do you hate Black Friday?

    A new survey by Bankrate.com finds the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season is getting what Bankrate calls “a bad rap” from consumers, who are tiring of the crush of door-buster sales and jammed malls.

    But Yahoo Finance columnist Rick Newman believes reports of Black Friday’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

    “Some people hate the idea,” he says. “But there’s this determined subset of shoppers who have been out there going for the door-busters. And the retail industry has been terrific at whipping up this frenzy over getting in to get the best deal.”

    The Bankrate.com survey says just 28% of us plan to actually go out to a traditional brick-and-mortar store the day after Thanksgiving. Newman says don’t believe it.

    “I think everybody understands by now that you don’t have to do this, but people do it anyway,” he notes.   “My guess is we’re going to see the same sort of crowds we always do. I don’t think anything has changed dramatically this year.”

    Still, Newman feels Black Friday has a unique appeal.