- Dean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute8 hrs ago
Stocks closed higher for the first time this week, buoyed by minutes from the last Fed meeting that essentially set an end date for the Fed's asset purchase program. The Dow (^DJI) gained 79 points to close at 16,986, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) rose 28 points, ending at 4,419, and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) closed 9 points higher at 1,973.
Fed minutes showed that central bank policymakers "generally agreed" to end the Fed's asset purchases with a final $15 billion reduction in October. (The Fed has been cutting back at a rate of $10 billion after every policy-making meeting.) The minutes did not mention when the Fed would start raising rates, which was also a comfort to the market.
Dow component Cisco (CSCO), which closed up 37 cents at $25.44, was among several technology stocks that rose today. Twitter ended 65 cents higher at $38.06 and Facebook finished $2.21 higher at $64.97.
- Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute15 hrs ago
The gloves seem to be coming off in a fight between Amazon (AMZN) and Hachette.
The two companies have been in a dispute over e-book prices for months. Amazon began delaying shipments of some Hachette books and removed the preorder button on some new titles to pressure the publisher. Some Hachette authors publicly criticized Amazon for doing that, but yesterday Amazon proposed giving Hachette authors 100% of the revenue from e-book sales until the two companies reached an agreement.
The two billion-dollar companies traded very public blows. Hachette responded that Amazon was trying to make it commit suicide with the offer. Amazon then responded, "We call baloney."
Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli said Amazon had the leverage in this relationship and a more persuasive case in this matter. “I do think that Amazon ultimately gets what it wants here because Hatchette needs Amazon more than Amazon needs Hatchette or these authors,” he said.
- Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute16 hrs ago
Here is a look at some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team are watching for you today.
The Container Store (TCS) shares fell in early trading. The specialty retail chain, which just went public in November, lowered its full-year earnings and revenue outlook after it posted its first same-store sales decline in four years. The company said it is facing what it calls a “retail funk,” where demand is shifting to high-ticket items such as housing and automobiles. Earnings and revenue missed estimates, even though its loss narrowed from a year ago and revenue rose 9%.
Alcoa (AA) shares rose before the bell after the aluminum producer swung to a profit in the second quarter. Earnings and revenue both topped estimates. The company benefited from a comeback in its primary metal businesses and strength in its engineered products.
Looking ahead to the Fed minutes; Another bank may settle in a mortgage probe; Setback for Apple in ChinaDean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute17 hrs ago
Investors are eagerly waiting for the minutes of last month’s Fed meeting. The Federal Open Market Market Committee will release the minutes at 2 p.m. Eastern today. Investors will be looking for clues as to when the Federal Reserve may make its first interest rate hike since 2006.
Citigroup (C) and the Justice Department are close to a $7 billion deal to settle allegations the bank sold shoddy mortgages in the run-up to the financial crisis. According to reports, the settlement includes several billion dollars to help struggling borrowers. Settlement talks broke down last month when the two sides could not come to an agreement on how much money Citi should pay. The details of the settlement could be announced as early as next week. Citigroup is scheduled to report earnings on Monday.
- Dean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute1 day ago
Stocks closed lower today for the second session in a row as investors waited cautiously for the latest earnings session to begin. The Dow (^DJI) ended under 17,000, down 118 points at 16,906, while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) finished 60 points lower at 4,391 and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell 14 points to 1,964.
Shares of Alcoa, which reported after the close, rose 11 cents, or 0.7%, to $14.85, then added another 24 cents in the first hour of after-hours trading following better-than-expected earnings.
On the economic front, the Labor Department reported that the number of job openings rose to its highest level since June 2007. There were 4.64 million job openings in May according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, known as JOLTS. That’s up from 4.46 million openings in April.
NeuroMetrix ( NURO ) shares gained a whopping 23.8% to close at $2.34 after the Food and Drug Administration approved a wearable device to treat chronic pain for over-the-counter use.
- Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute1 day ago
Crumbs (CRMB) Bake Shop seems to be a casualty of the cupcake wars. The once popular cupcake chain closed all 48 of its stores on Monday.
"Regrettably Crumbs has been forced to cease operations and is immediately attending to the dislocation of its employees while it evaluates its limited remaining options," the company said in a statement to theThe Wall Street Journal. A spokeswoman told the Journal those “options” include filing for bankruptcy.
It’s a sad ending for the company which fed the appetite of the cupcake craze. The first Crumbs opened its doors March 2003 on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, and the company then went public in 2011. However, Crumbs sweet success turned sour over the past couple of years as sales suffered. Crumbs reported a loss of $18.2 million last year, which came on top of a $10.3 million loss in 2012. The stock once traded at $13 a share, but fell below $0.30 last month and was de-listed from the Nasdaq last week.
- Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute1 day ago
Here is a look at some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team is watching for you today.
Groupon (GRPN) shares rose in early trading. The stock was upgraded by B. Riley to "buy" from "neutral." The brokerage firm also raised its price target to $9.50 from $6. The firm says Groupon is entering a period of easier year-over-year comparisons while improvement in operational costs will drive organic growth and margins
NeuroMetrix (NURO) shares jumped before the bell after the Food and Drug Administration approved its Sensus chronic pain treatment device for over-the-counter use. The wearable device delivers electrical stimulation to sensory nerves as a method to relieve pain.
United Airlines (UAL) was also in the spotlight this morning. The company announced it will outsource more than 630 union jobs at twelve U.S. airports. The airline is trying to cut costs after reporting a first-quarter loss in April. The jobs affected will be mostly ticket agent, gate agent and baggage handler positions.
Q2 earnings season begins; U.S. accuses two more banks of evading sanctions; Crumbs closes its storesDean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute1 day ago
Second quarter Earnings season unofficially kicks off today when Alcoa (AA) reports after the close. Analysts expect earnings of $0.12 a share on revenue of $5.66 billion in revenue.
Reuters reported Germany's Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank are in settlement talks with the U.S. over evading sanctions. The banks are accused of transferring money on behalf of companies in Iran and Sudan. Commerzbank may end up paying at least $500 million and face a deferred prosecution agreement that would suspend criminal charges in exchange for the financial penalty and other concessions, according to the New York Times. This comes after after the U.S. reached a record $8.9 billion settlement with French BNP Paribas last week.
- Dean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute2 days ago
Stocks closed lower after reaching record highs last week, but the Dow (^DJI) still ended above 17,000, at 17,024, down 44 points. The Nasdaq (^IXIC) ended the day off 34 points at 4,452 and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) closed 8 points lower at 1,978.
In a note to clients over the weekend, Goldman Sachs (GS) chief economist Jan Hatzius changed his forecast for when the Federal Reserve will begin to raise interest rates. He now projects the Fed will boost the key lending rate in the third quarter of 2015, sooner than his previous forecast of Q1 2016.
Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) shares closed 9 cents lower at $59.26 after the company’s board approved a $2 billion share buyback plan which it hopes to complete during its fiscal 2016 year. The new buyback plan will begin when the current plan ends. As of May 31, that plan had $861 million remaining.
- Dean Arrindell at Hot Stock Minute2 days ago
If you thought your BBQ cost more this past holiday weekend, you're probably right.
Rabobank’s BBQ Index calculated the cost of a 10-person BBQ compared to 2004 and found that it rose 24% to $66.82 from $51.90 in 2004. The survey found that beef, cheese and vegetable prices each have seen double-digits increases since last year. Beef prices are up 71% in five years.
Many factors have conspired to boost prices across several food groups this year. The Wall Street Journal reported that the price of ground beef rose 10.4% in May from a year earlier, helped by a drought in Texas and Oklahoma that's been driving up cattle prices. A virus that affects infant pigs has contributed to a 12.7% rise in pork prices and a disease affecting citrus crops in Florida has contributed to a 17.1% rise in orange prices.