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  • Wal-Mart gets punked

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 11 hrs 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 12 hrs 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. (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 13 hrs 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 1 day ago

    Do you hate Black Friday?

    A new survey by 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 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.


  • Target tops estimates; Tesla heads in reverse; PetSmart going private?

    Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 1 day ago

    It seems Target (TGT) has put its massive data breach that has been haunting the retailer for the past year behind it. The discount retailer reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the third quarter. Revenue rose 2.8% from a year earlier as sales growth in the U.S. improved. Target also said it doesn't expect any future data breach-related expenses to be material.  Shares of Target are higher this morning on the news. 

    Investors building up shares of Lowe’s (LOW) in early trading. The home improvement retailer reported third quarter earnings and revenue that topped Wall Street views.  The company also raised its earnings and sales outlook for the year but was cautiously optimistic about the home improvement sector. 

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

  • Stocks slip ahead of Fed minutes; Target turnaround?; Tesla tumbles

    Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 1 day ago

    Stocks are slipping from record highs ahead of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting in October.

    Yahoo Finance Columnist Rick Newman points out that there are two competing story lines at the Fed right now.

    “If the labor market keeps improving, that gives the Fed reason to tighten; if inflation remains low, that will give the Fed reason to keep the party going a little bit longer," says Newman.

    He also doesn’t expect any changes in the Fed’s outlook.  Newman says markets are looking for the first interest rate hike to be somewhere in the middle or third quarter of 2015.

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

    Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported housing starts unexpectedly fell 2.8% in October, while permits for future projects jumped to their highest level in six-years.

    Earnings still grabbing investors' attention. 

    Related: Target tops estimates; Tesla heads in reverse; PetSmart going private?

  • Home Depot data breach costs still not clear; Urban Outfitters tumbles; Nokia unveils new tablet

    Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 2 days ago

    Here are some stocks to watch this morning. 

    Home Depot (HD) shares are on investors' radar this morning. The nation's biggest home improvement retailer reported earnings and revenue that topped analysts' estimates. Profit rose 14% in the third quarter as U.S. same-stores sales increased nearly 6%.  However, Home Depot is still dealing with the aftermath of its massive data breach. The company said pretax expenses related to the breach totaled $28 million dollars in the quarter. It also said costs related to the breach could have an adverse affect on fourth quarter results.

    Urban Outfitters (URBN)shares fell in early trading. The apparel retailer's third quarter earnings missed forecasts as discounts and increased expenses cut into profits.  However, revenue did manage to slightly beat estimates thanks to sales growth in its Anthropologie and Free People stores, which helped offset weakness in its namesake brand.

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

  • Tesla's Toyota nightmare

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 2 days ago

    Toyota (TM) is taking on Tesla (TSLA) over “green” vehicle technology.

    The Japanese carmaker announcing today it will begin selling its new hydrogen fuel cell-powered car, Mirai, in Japan next month and in select U.S. and European markets next year.

    See video of Toyota's news briefing

    Mirai is the Japanese word for “future,” and hydrogen power is what Toyota sees as the power source for alternative fuel vehicles down the road, as opposed to Tesla’s battery-powered cars.

     But can hydrogen win out over electricity? Yahoo Finance Editor in Chief Aaron Task says it might.

    “A lot of people have thought that over the years,” he points out. “And if you can get it right, it could be a huge game-changer for fuel-efficient cars and change the dynamic of how we all drive.”

    Task gives Toyota props for taking such a bold step and showing confidence that it will work.

    “I like the fact that they call the car the ‘future,’” he says. “But if it is the future remains to be seen.”




  • S&P 500 eyes another record; Home Depot still feeling data breach effects; Toyota takes on Tesla

    Yahoo Finance at Hot Stock Minute 2 days ago

    Stocks are starting the day on a positive note with the S&P 500 ( ^GSPC ) flirting with yet another record.

    Investors weighing more developments out of Japan. The country's P rime Minister   Shinzo Abe called for an early election and delayed a sales tax hike by 18-months after Japan's economy unexpectedly fell into  recession in the third quarter.

    Back in the U.S., inflation at the wholesale level  came in a little hotter than economists’ expected.

    The Labor Department reported producer prices unexpectedly rose 0.2% in October as a rise in costs for services and food overshadowed a decline in energy prices.

    Retail earnings continue to grab investors' attention this morning. 

    Related: Home Depot data breach costs still not clear; Urban Outfitters tumbles; Nokia unveils new tablet

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


  • Allergan and Actavis close to deal; Halliburton and Baker Hughes make it official; DreamWorks tumbles as Hasbro talks flop

    Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 3 days ago

    Some deal making in the drug industry this morning. 

    Allergan (AGN) shares rose in early trading.  The Botox maker is reportedly close to a deal to be bought by drugmaker Actavis (ACT) as early as today. The deal could be worth about $65 billion, in cash and stock and would put an end to a long hostile takeover by Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX). Shares of Actavis are were also up on the news 

    We are also keeping an eye on shares of Merck (MRK).  The drugmaker will receive $850 million from Pfizer   (PFE) to jointly develop a new cancer treatment. Pfizer said the deal will reduce its earnings for the year.  However, it will help boost its oncology business, which means it is less likely Pfizer will make a renewed bid for AstraZeneca.  Shares of Pfizer are lower in early trading.