Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 16 hrs ago
Hackers are targeting the movie industry…with possibly monumental financial consequences.
Sony (SNE) says it is canceling the Christmas Day release of its new comedy, “The Interview,” after a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace threatened to attack movie houses that run the film. Sony's move comes after major theater chains-- including the 278-outlet Carmike Cinemas (CKEC)-- decided not to show "The Interview," which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un.
Guardians of Peace launched a cyber attack on Sony Pictures last month, exposing private company emails and documents and demanding “The Interview” be pulled from theaters. That has led to a selloff of Sony shares this month.
Yahoo Finance Editor in Chief Aaron Task says the potential loss of revenue from this threat is staggering.
“It’s definitely a major liability,” he points out. “It obviously could be tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars for Sony and also hitting the movie chains.”
Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 17 hrs ago
Earnings back in focus on Wall Street this morning.
FedEx (FDX) shares fell in early trading. The giant shipping company reporting second quarter profit and revenue that fell short of analysts' estimates. FedEx says while package volume in the U.S. increased, revenue per package dropped because of a lower fuel surcharge and lighter-weight deliveries. The company is also reiterating its estimate of moderate growth over the next six months.
Some mixed results from General Mills (GIS). The maker of Cheerios cereal and Betty Crocker cake mixes reporting earnings that beat Wall Street views, but revenue was slightly below forecasts. Sales fell 3.5% from a year earlier as it continues to struggle with weak demand in the U.S. and slowing growth in Europe and Canada. Shares of General Mills were slightly higher on the news ahead of the bell.
Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 18 hrs ago
Stocks rebounding after yesterday’s rocky session as investors await word from the Federal Reserve on when policymakers plan to raise interest rates.
Consumer prices unexpectedly fell in November. The Labor Department reported its Consumer Price Index recorded its biggest drop in six years, down 0.3%, due mainly to the big drop we’ve seen in oil prices.
When you strip out the volatile food and energy costs, so-called core prices rose 0.1%
Yahoo Finance Editor in Chief Aaron Task says the weaker-than-expected consumer price data means the Fed doesn’t have to worry about inflation, but policymakers will be looking at some deflationary pressures.
“The drama that is going on in Russia and emerging markets; the steep drop in oil prices and the recent volatility in financial markets” are among them, he says.
Task points out that the Fed will also weigh the fact U.S. economic data has been gaining momentum in the last six months.
Earnings also back in focus on Wall Street this morning.
Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 1 day ago
The Wall Street Journal saying the world’s biggest search engine is considering two possible ways to steal business away from Amazon and get consumers onto its own shopping site. Google reportedly is looking into adding a "buy" button, which would be similar to Amazon's popular "one-click" ordering plan. Also, Google is said to be pondering free two-day shipping for products bought through its service for an annual fee, like Amazon Prime.
Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says it’s all about keeping you from clicking away from Google.
Santoli notes that while Google is best known as a search engine, it really is a player in the retail space.
“It’s so obvious that Google wants to neutralize Amazon’s advantage in this,” he notes.
Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 1 day ago
Topping our list of stocks to watch this morning.
Boeing (BA) shares gained some altitude in early trading. The plane manufacturer is increasing its quarterly dividend by 25% and boosting its share buyback to $12 billion.
Coca-Cola (KO) shares fell ahead of the bell. The world's biggest soft-drink maker said its profit growth for 2015 will be about the same as this year when adjusted for currency fluctuations. The 4 to 5 percent increase is below the company's long term target. In addition, a minority stakeholder is calling for CEO Muhtar Kent to be ousted.
Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 1 day ago
Volatility is back on Wall Street. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow (^DJI) have managed to erase earlier losses as oil prices continue their downward spiral after factory activity in China fell to seven month low in December.
Russia’s ruble also resumed its plunge despite a massive rate hike (17% from 10.5%) by the country’s central bank.
Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli points out a couple of reasons why capital is fleeing out of a Russia.
“The crash in oil prices has compromised Russia’s official revenues and basically it puts their government budget in some kind of peril; and obviously, the sanctions against Russia dating back from last winter when the invasion of Ukraine happened are really biting.”
Investors also waiting to see whether or not the Federal Reserve will pledge to keep interest rates near zero for a “considerable period of time." The Fed issues their policy decision on Wednesday when they wrap up a two day meeting.
Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 2 days ago
You can add Volvo to the growing list of companies offering vehicles online.
The Chinese-owned Swedish automaker says it will gradually build up its web offerings...and eventually it wants to have every model available on the internet. Just last week AutoNation (AN) announced it was moving to online sales. General Motors (GM) and Toyota (TM) have started their own pilot programs on the web. And of course electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA) has been the model for buying cars in a non-traditional way.
Yahoo Finance Editor in Chief Aaron Task feels Volvo’s move is a logical one.
“That’s how millennials want to shop,” he points out. “And it’s the kind of thing you should be able to buy online.”
Volvo is shifting its focus to selling online as part of an effort to find ways to compete with rivals who have more financial resources. Along with the new emphasis on web sales, the company also will skip many of the major auto shows around the world to save on costs.
Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 2 days ago
The biggest private-equity deal so far this year tops our list of stocks to watch this morning.
PetSmart (PETM) shares jumped in early trading after the pet supplies retailer said it's being bought by an investor group led by BC Partners for more than $8 billion, or $83 dollars a share in cash.
News of a potential deal in the energy sector. Shares of Talisman Energy (TLM) were higher ahead of the bell after soaring 16% on Friday following a report in the Financial Times that Spanish-based Repsol is in talks to buy the company for up to $8 billion.
Honeywell (HON) also in the spotlight this morning. The industrial conglomerate slightly scaled back its sales outlook for this year and gave a cautious outlook for 2015 due to modest economic growth in most regions around the globe.
Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 2 days ago
Wall Street's Monday rally was short-lived with stocks now in the minus column as oil resumes its fall.
The biggest private-equity deal so far this year grabbing investors' attention. PetSmart ( PETM ) is being bought by an investor group led by BC Partners for more than $8 billion, or $83 dollars a share in cash. PetSmart shares are jumping on the news in early trading.
News of a potential deal in the energy sector. Talisman Energy ( TLM ) confirming it’s in talks with Spanish-based Repsol. Talisman shares are higher after rising more than 16% on Friday following a report in the Financial Times that Repsol is in talks to buy Canadian oil producer for up to $8 billion.
Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 5 days ago
Is Uncle Sam helping to create a new housing bubble?
Critics are lambasting the regulator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for requiring the government-controlled mortgage buyers to again pay into a fund to help low-income Americans buy homes. Fannie and Freddie stopped making those payments when the firms collapsed during the housing market meltdown and received a bailout from Washington. But now, Melvin Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, says Fannie and Freddie are financially stable enough to resume putting money into the National Housing Trust Fund.
However, some argue that putting money into this fund is a bad idea because it will increase the number of the same kinds of risky loans that led to the housing crisis in the first place. Among them, Yahoo Finance Editor in Chief Aaron Task, who calls it déjà vu all over again.
“This is the definition of insanity,” he says. “It’s doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.”
Task says while the idea is laudable, it just doesn’t make sense.