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

    Kathy Cherpelis at Hot Stock Minute 16 hrs 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 17 hrs 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 18 hrs 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.

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    Earnings also grabbing investors’ attention this morning.

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  • Can zombies sell Budweiser beer?

    Bill McColl at Hot Stock Minute 1 day 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 1 day 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 1 day 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 5 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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